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!!!FRAG SWAP!!! MARCH 16, 2019 Read more... ×
dmits41

Dan's 400g in-wall tank/fish room/home theater build

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On 11/4/2018 at 8:33 PM, ReefNewby82 said:

Bet you are glad to get a tank rolling again huh.  You make quite a bit of progress in your days off.  Keep up the work you will be done soon!

It's been too long since I had a healthy tank. Even though I kept the rock in the water I drained from the tank with pumps there was some die off so I am letting it go through a mini cycle before adding anything. 

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I've been spending what time I can on the bottom of the desk. It's going to be blue with black interior, and the bottom cabinets will each have a slide out tray for fragging. The right side will have a bucket to put items ready to frag into and the left will be a tray with holes for frag plugs with a drip tray beneath it.

Here are the cabinets with one painted on the inside.

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The right side bucket tray:

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The layout for the frag tray, followed by a couple more steps:

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I used the router table to cut slots in side pieces to fit the drip tray:

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The trays are 1/2" MDF but they will be sealed and painted before installation so water shouldn't hurt them. I have some Rust Oleum never wet I've never tried and I'm thinking of spraying them with that too. Hopefully I'll have the bottom half of the desk in by Monday.

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I finally have the bottom half of the desk in the room. After that was setup I brought the Apex back online and my nano is back up and running fully. I even got lucky with my Vortech mp10, it has been blinking red/green for months and not working but I found an old LED strip in my spare parts box with a power supply that matches the pump and it now works. My plan is to use it as my office when I work from home so I can move my monitor and laptop docking station in there whenever. I'm going to plan out the top part of the desk cabinet, paint the windowsill/add blinds, and add the TV/monitors to the area above the closet next. I'll also need another office chair.

Here's the view from desk to nano:

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And the nano FTS. All of the coraline algae on the back died when it was dry for resealing. I kept the live rock in buckets with water from the tank before the teardown running with pumps for circulation. I don't know how long I should wait before adding a fish or frag.

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Finally, the desk with the fragging trays out. I'm a lefty so I work from right to left. The right has a bucket for what I am about to cut or frags I just brought home ready to dip. The left is for frag plugs with a drip tray. I'm going to build doors so it will be hidden.

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After almost 6 months of tearing it down and building it back up it's finally a usable room again. From this point I'll keep adding until I'm ready for the big tank some time in the next year or two.

 

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Holy cow Bob Vila.  I just need this Smart doorbell installed and my 2018 list is done.  What time do you want dinner ready this week for you lol!

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Today was the day it became a working tank again. I went over to Modern and they had an interesting pair of clowns for sale, a snowflake ocellaris and an onyx percula. They just put them together recently and both look great. I added them with 2 turbos. No frags yet. 

They've each taken sides of the tank for now. The snowflake is in the back left corner and the onyx is out front on the right half.

20181117_145502_zpsysoej7gy.jpg

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It's been almost a month and the room's mostly the same but I did add some techy stuff today. First, the bad news. It looks like my perc died some time overnight last night. I haven't seen him all day and even moved the rocks around during feeding. The snowflake has been chasing him around a lot but I thought they were just establishing dominance. Maybe she took it too far. The strange thing is that I can't find a body and there are no scavengers in the tank. Just the snowflake and 2 turbos. Both fish seemed in great health last night and ate very well. 

Anyway, on to the room. It's currently being used to store the kids' board games with the tree up, but I added a new laptop and 2 monitors. One is for the Apex Fusion page and the other is for other things like videos. I was originally going to download a bunch of beautiful coral macro pictures to play as my wallpaper in slideshow mode, but then I got a different idea. I went into Photobucket and downloaded almost every tank pic that I've uploaded for over a decade. I put in everything including decisions I wish I had back. It's a fun way to remember the journey since I started in the hobby. The desk is still less than halfway done, the upper section has been modeled in Sketchup and I need to build it. Eventually it will house the laptop up high, more storage, and a coral band saw that will slide out on a tray like the ones on the bottom. The top area all the way across will be open and show things that I want to display.

20181215_183342_zpsbolhzhbo.jpg

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So there's been a setback. There was cracking in the floor that I had patched, and the thought was that the rust oleum floor coating wasn't adhering to the patch. I found out that this wasn't the case. It turns out that the self leveling concrete didn't adhere to the original concrete floor...like at all. I'm going to disassemble everything and rip up the floor. I have 2 more boxes of floor coating ready to go. At least this happened now when the only tank I have is a 29. I really like my aquascape though, I think I'll get some epoxy putty to lock it in place before I move it for the floor redo.

20181222_155351_zpslrv5jkjo.jpg

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 I remember they had to acid wash our basement floors before putting down the concrete overlay, so maybe you need to do something like that in order to make it stick.

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I believe that it would've worked, but in all honesty I regretted ever putting the stuff down after I did the original top coat. I removed every bit of it and applied a new coat of the metallic epoxy and it looks much better.

 

 I just put the room back together this afternoon and couldn't get my aquascape back to what it was, but I still like it. I'll let it run with just water for a day or two just to make sure everything stabilizes a bit. During the breakdown I found the body of the missing clown, it had jumped and I couldn't see it until I removed the Apex wiring from the floor corner. I'm going to get another one to go with the snowflake, just not quite yet.

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The floor after reworking:

20190104_210648_zpsedo4kkdn.jpg

 

New FTS after having to redo the aquascape (can't find white balance on phone, pic is really blue):

20190107_192015_zps12nbehhi.jpg

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Wow them floors look awful shiny.  I bet you could do the Tom cruise slide on that bad boy lol

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Floors looks great!  Takes a little bit of artistic ability to make them look that good. Great job. 

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It's been a month and the room's coming along. I built most of the top section of the desk. It'll be used both for storage and work. I've only built the first of 4 cabinet doors and will wait to paint them and my shelves until it's warmer and I can use my sprayer. I also added a towel ring next to the tank so I can clean up small spills easily.

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I created a quick spreadsheet for my left monitor as a way to quickly check my most recent water change and results for Ca, Alk and Mg. The nice part is that I added conditional formatting so that as the days go by on my WC and tests the dates go from green to yellow to red. Same thing with my test results, I setup ranges for them that are color coded.

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The tank's going well too. I have a pair of ocellaris (1 snowflake) that have bonded and go everywhere together. There is also a red firefish, brittle star and 3 frags. I'm trying to accumulate more frags and need to add a cleanup crew.

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Not as fun as the other things I've been doing in here, but the ceiling on the living room side of the wall is finally trench free! I scraped, patched and re-textured it. The wire coming down is for a wireless access point we're putting in later.

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Tonight I ended the barebottom experiment. I found that I just love the look and some of the critters that do better with sand. I went with about a 3/4" layer, not too much so I can siphon regularly. I found that there was a lot of snail poop rolling around the bottom even when I got rid of it with weekly water changes. I'd post a pic but the tank's still cloudy. It appears that I've rocked my clowns' world, they're really exploring the space like it's a whole new tank. At least they're going everywhere together so at this point I think it's safe to say they've bonded.

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