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My 75g Rebuild


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What you see above...is what my tank looked like pre-nightmare mode. Several years ago I was struck with a fairly nasty hair algae issue. Then a major catastrophe took place, then I joined a fairly active band, and finally became a dad. Needless to say, it was all a bit much... a bit too suddenly. So I let the tank die off. :(

 

A few weeks ago my daughter asked my about the tank. Not really sure why, maybe she was just curious. The more I showed her, and talked to her about it, the more interested she became... and so did I! So I decided to set the tank up again. I hope to use this thread as a means of tracking that progress over time.

 

I really wish I had a picture of the tank prior to cleaning. I look at this and think it doesn't look all that clean, then I think back to what it looked like before.

 

 

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The three stand pipes in the back were part of a system I tried using for flow. One pipe was to act as a drain that led to the intake on a pump, while the other two provided the output. I found that I didn't much care for that system and capped them off. I've since cut the pipes down even more with 1" caps on them. The next time I break this tank down, I will most likely remove them completely. I didn't do that this time around because I really didn't feel like buying new bulk heads.

 

Goals this week are to re-fill the tank and get the sump working to my satisfaction. In my previous setup the skimmer was a serious PITA to get to. I'm hoping to move the pumps out of the sump this year; but for now I'll have to stick with what I've got. All lighting ballasts will be kept outside of the tank.

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Like the aquascaping from before. If I was you, I'd plate the holes on the bottom when you have it tore down and then you won't have a chance of the SCH 40 bulkheads cracking or blowing a gasket and draining the whole tank. Sure you could get some 3/8" glass for fairly cheap to silicone over all the holes. I'm also surprised that a 75 had the bottom drilled unless it was from the factory as usually they are tempered?

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Thanks. That was fairly recent into the original build too, it got to looking much better just prior to the crash. I'll have to dig those up and add them to the gallery at some point.

 

The 75 I have was pre-drilled with an overflow. Those were added later. I'm going to seal them up this week. I thought about leaving them, but the more I think about it... The more it just annoys me. LOL.

 

I was originally thinking of using some scrap acrylic. Do you think that's a bad idea? I'm only thinking the acrylic because I don't want to worry about cutting myself on the edges of the patches. I know you can use emery paper to take the edge off, but if it gets chipped, I'd have to keep that in mind. What about removal... should I decide to re-purpose the holes later?

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The silicone won't stick to acrylic. Use glass. If you're concerned w being cut have a glass shop do some finishing work on the edges, that or just load silicone all the way around the perimeter so no edges remain. If ever exposed that could be ugly though.

 

Are you going tovtry and replicate the setup or go a different route this time as far as scape and stocking?

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Correct on the acrylic. Silicone will temporarily hold it but it will not bind and you'll end up with a leak later down the road. You're much better off getting a small rectangle of glass and have a good 2" parameter of silicone around the holes, just make sure to clean up the glass well so it adheres like it should.

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Also, if you cap it from the top side, you won't have to worry about sharp edges. The force of the water/sand/rock down on it will also be working for you on sealing it rather than against you if you plate it from the bottomside of the holes.

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Are you going tovtry and replicate the setup or go a different route this time as far as scape and stocking?

 

For the overall structure of the reef, I don't think I have any plans to replicate what I had... That said, I don't have any plans to shy away from that either. I want to make sure it looks appealing, and fairly natural. However, I also want to make sure I have good "platforms" to attach frags and avoid any major dead spots. Hoping with a couple of wave makers, that won't be an issue.

 

Lighting wise I plan to run a pair of VHO's for 10hrs (probably from 10am to 10pm), and a pair of 250w metal halides kicking in for about 6 hrs, starting at 4pm. I might have the VHO's kick on earlier. Not entirely set on the lighting schedule yet. I want to make sure it's lit when we are usually home though.

 

So - based on the above lighting... Any stocking suggestions? I'm thinking a couple of varieties of LPS because my daughter liked the "squigly stuff", probably some xenia's if I can't find some I like... probably some rics and zoas as well, as I really liked the various frags I had picked up.

 

Fish - I'm not certain at all. I'll probably end up with a clown for certain. I'm just not sure what else. We had a wrasse for a long time, and I really liked it. Any suggestions for 75? I loved the yellow tang, but I'm thinking it would have been much happier in a 6' tank.

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With that lighting, you can keep what you want as long as water parameters are good. If you want to dive into SPS start off with the easier ones. Montipora Caps, encrusting montis, birdsnest, stylophora, pocillopora, digitata are all relatively easy SPS to start off with.

 

As far as fish, get a Yellow Eye Kole Tang. Good personality and does well in a 4 foot tank.

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Agree with Dustin on the Yellow Eye Kole Tang. Beautiful fish and does great in a 4ft tank. Or look into a whitetail bristletooth, or squaretail bristletooth. Great variations of the Ctenochaetus species. .

 

If your daughter likes the "squigly" ones, go for a nice hammer, frogsawn, or torch. Plus add an anemone with your clowns, the partnership between the two is mesmerizing to watch.

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I really like the Whitetail Bristletooth...its like the cousin to the kole tang but more unique. I have only found one place that can get them other than online shipping...and once i move I may go ahead and get one !!

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Ordered a patch to cover my holes. Hope to get that siliconed in tonight. I also re-did my plumbing last night. A couple of minor annoyances there (limited on space), but my design should work much better.

 

So... if I get the patch in tonight, I'm hoping to fill it up tomorrow night and check my plumbing. I'll most likely drain 2/3 of the tank and let it sit for a solid 24hrs just so that I can make sure the patch isn't leaky. Then hopefully I can start filling it up with RO/DI water on Friday and get it mixed and cycle started as early as Saturday.

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gallery_560_301_92062.jpg

 

Patch is in. I ran a bead around each hole, the inner perimeter of the patch and a final bead on the outer perimeter. The outer bead probably wasn't needed to but it serves two purposes for me. One it will help with the overall seal, but most importantly it protects the edge of the glass and the corners from any major chipping... Which will in turn protect my delicate guitar player hands should I forget its down there. ;)

 

Looking closely at the pic you can see a good 1.5"-2" wide seal around the drilled holes and the perimeter of the patch itself. I think that so long as the bond is tight (I cleaned the heck out of each piece before adhering) then I should have no real problems. You can also see that I need to do some serious clean-up work too... LOL.

 

Tonight I hope to get a leak test started. I plan to fill the display portion of the tank with about 20g of water to make sure my seal is solid. I also plan to fill my sump, and run the overflow and return in an effort to test my new plumbing. If all goes as planned... I hope to start filling the tank on Saturday and mixing no later than Sunday.

 

 

 

 

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Good luck!

 

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

Looks great. You'll have more of a chance for a seam to bust before that gives way.

 

Thanks. Eager to get home and put some water in the tank to validate the seals are good. Really don't think it'll be a problem. I suspect my plumbing will give me more grief than anything else. We'll see though. :)

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Plumbing fixed and re-arranged (again)... Everything checked out leak test wise, so I added my sand and old rocks back to the tank. That took all of a day and a half of watching 5g buckets fill up with my RO/DI unit. Wow, talk about watching paint dry! Luckily I had other things to work on, thanks to the wife.

 

I went ahead and picked up about 10lbs of fiji LR from PA. I didn't think to ask the guy who helped me out, who he was here. Nice guy though, and his help was appreciated. I've got the main tank mixed with salt, and have added in that LR. thought I had an old filter sock laying around, but I must have thrown it out. Guess I'll swing over to UB's this morning and get one, then toss in bits of a raw shrimp from a dinner we made a few weekends back (been frozen during that time).

 

I have a OR3500 for a return pump and a Mag12. The Mag12 is *WAY* too much pump for my return, drains the sump in about 5 seconds. haha. I swapped it out with the OR3500 just because that has been giving me grief when it looses power. Guess I'm gonna have to go back and try it out again. I'd eventually like to move the return pump out of my sump though. I'm gonna have to start watching for a smaller pump. I'll try to get progress pics today for myself, as much as everyone else. :)

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Guest Willy

 

 

I went ahead and picked up about 10lbs of fiji LR from PA. I didn't think to ask the guy who helped me out, who he was here. Nice guy though, and his help was appreciated.

 

That was me. Sounds like you are well on your way to getting this back up and running
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gallery_560_301_41067.jpg

 

Snapped this at around 10am yesterday; after add the 10lbs of LR I picked up from PA. The cloudy water has cleared up quite a bit after adding some poly-fil batting to the sump at the drain end, and a small strip laid across the overflow lip. I'll probably move the powerhead to the other end of the tank tonight, and repeat the process. Goal is to add a pair of MJ1200's to the tank until my Jebao's arrive. I'm gonna have to get my SLR to the shop, these phone pictures are terrible.

 

I'll try to get some better pictures tonight. I'm also going to start playing around with the overall rockscaping as well. The more I look at my old setup, the more I like that arrangement. So I think I'm going to do what I can to recreate it. I don't want it quite as dense though, I don't think. So I'll definitely be removing rock soon.

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