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My first 54 gallon corner saltwater tank

This is a discussion on My first 54 gallon corner saltwater tank within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> The next step would be to create the Baffle Walls. In a Berlin Style sump, this consists of 3 walls. Two of which are ...

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My first 54 gallon corner saltwater tank
Old 10-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #31
 
Step 3 Baffle Walls

The next step would be to create the Baffle Walls.
In a Berlin Style sump, this consists of 3 walls. Two of which are identical.

The first thing you'll need to do is to measure the width of the tank in the ID (Inside Dimension). This needs to be as precise as possible. Scribe this number down because it will be the width of your baffle wall. I actually decreased the number by a 1/16th of an inch for ease of placement but the closer you can get to the actual dimensions the easier it will be to secure them with sealant. These aren't a structural joint. You're just trying to seal the edges so the water has to go through the ports you will cut.

The second step on the baffle walls will be to measure the dimensions and mark them on the acrylic sheets with a Sharpie. Accomplish this by measuring with a tape measure on both ends and then use the ruler or straight edge to scribe the line. This is easier by clamping the ruler to the acrylic sheet and your piece of plywood.

The next step is the water ports. The two identical walls are the ones closer to the ends. These walls will help establish the height of water levels and there lack of turbulence. The middle wall is between the skimmer chamber and the return utility pump. See Images below for what they should look like. The quantities I have below are for (2) Sump tanks. If you are creating just one Sump the quantity will be half of what I have below.

Once all the cut lines have been marked you can proceed to the next step.

Note: The width of your Baffle Walls is depicted by the ID of your Sump Tank
Attached Images
File Type: png Baffle Skimmer Wall Diagram.png (86.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: png Baffle Spill Wall Diagram.png (90.0 KB, 24 views)
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Last edited by VerdantGrotto; 10-10-2013 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #32
 
Step 3 Continued...

Once all of your lines have been scribed you can cut the perimeter dimensions with an Acrylic Knife. Clamp the Acrylic sheet to a Work table with a sharp edge. Rounded edges could cause the sheet to break at the wrong place or irregularly. I found this is easier by sandwiching the sheet between a 1" x 4' and the work table. By using the acrylic knife, score the line where your cut will be. Don't apply too much pressure. You're just trying to score the line as accurate as possible. Repeat the score line over and over. This might seem redundant but if you want a clean line this will take about 50 drags across the line. Don't Rush! You can break the scrap piece off when you're more than 3/4's of the way through the acrylic sheet thickness. I however, went almost completely through the sheet before i applied even pressure along the scrap piece to break it off. It practically fell off for me. Test the fit in your sump tank. It should almost be a snug fit. You'll have a total of 3 Baffle walls

Next you'll cut the ports. This is accomplished by clamping the sheet very securely to your small piece of plywood and the work table. Be sure to allow room for the "footprint" of you handheld Router. First drill a Pilot hole (very slowly so you don't crack the acrylic) and then by using the router travel along the edges of your sharpie mark. Be sure to remove all the ink with the router (Not sure if the ink is toxic to fish).

Image 1: Clamp location
Image 2 : Skimmer to Sponge Filter Wall (Chamber 2 to Chamber 3)
Image 3: Sock Filter to Skimmer Wall (Chamber 1 to Chamber 2)
Image 4 : DONT USE A JIGSAW TO CUT ANY EDGES! THEY WILL CRACK!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0092.jpg (53.7 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0094.jpg (54.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0093.jpg (54.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0096.jpg (76.1 KB, 23 views)
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Last edited by VerdantGrotto; 10-10-2013 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:53 PM   #33
 
Step 4

Once you have the 3 Baffle Walls cut you'll need to clean the edges. I suggest doing this by using a coarse Sanding Sponge. This will also knock down any sharp edges and prep the perimeter for secure bonding of the Silicone sealant. Don't forget to clean the edges of the Ports.

Scuff the perimeter of the Baffle walls approximately 1/4" to 1/2"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0095.jpg (51.1 KB, 22 views)
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Last edited by VerdantGrotto; 10-10-2013 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:08 PM   #34
 
Step 4

Clean all surfaces thoroughly.

The acrylic sheets can be cleaned by scrubbing them under running tap water with a wash cloth.

The Tank can be cleaned by scraping the glue off with a Razor blade and scrubbing any left over residue off with a lens cleaning wipe or Rubbing alcohol. Once you've got the display sign glue off rinse the entire tank (Inside and Out) with a Garden hose.

Once these items are clean, dry them off with clean dry towels. Making sure to thoroughly dry all areas. Water could prevent adhesion of the silicone.


NEVER USE DISH SOAP OR AMMONIA BASED PRODUCTS SUCH AS WINDEX!
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File Type: jpg IMG_0103.jpg (45.9 KB, 23 views)
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #35
 
Tip

Always carry the tanks by the base. Firmly gripping the trim. If the tanks are too large then ask for help. I'd rather ask for help then ask for a broom to sweep up a bunch of glass...
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File Type: jpg IMG_0104.jpg (44.2 KB, 22 views)
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #36
 
Tip

Only use clean dry towels to dry the water off after rinsing. The key here is to not contaminate any portion of the tank with detergents or chemicals.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0110.jpg (51.0 KB, 18 views)
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #37
 
Tip

By using a razor blade you can get the bulk of glue used to affix display signs off. Finish removing glue with rubbing alcohol (Evaporates quickly). I found it's just as easy to use Lens cleaning wipes like the kind you use for your iPad.

Inspect the Sump tank by holding a flash light parallel to the surface of the glass. This will high-light any residue on the tank.

Be sure to thoroughly inspect prior to rinsing the tank off with a garden hose.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0107.jpg (58.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0097.jpg (63.0 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0108.jpg (55.0 KB, 19 views)
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:24 PM   #38
 
Tip

When rinsing the tank out with a garden hose be sure to do this over soft grass, cardboard or a wood deck. This will minimize the chance of damaging the glass on hard surfaces such as Bricks, Concrete or Rocks. When you think you've finished rinsing it off... Rinse it off one more time (Just to be sure). Don't forget to carry from the base.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #39
 
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Loving these lovely step-by-step postings! Lots of interesting info here to help newbies along! ^.^
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:56 AM   #40
 
Step 5

Once you have the tank clean and returned to the work table, grab a notepad and a pencil. You'll need to measure the length of the ID and record this info. You'll also need to record the dimensions of the equipment you'll be placing in each of the chambers. For my sump, I'll have a filter sock and bracket in the first chamber, a 125Gallon Coralife Protein Skimmer in the second chamber, technically the sponge goes in the third chamber and then the Utility Return pump in the fourth chamber.

Using the scratch paper, sketch the layout of the chambers with the recorded dimensions. This will help you work through any flaws with the size of the chambers.

Keep in mind that you may want to add additional equipment in the future such as Phosphate or Calcium Reactors
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File Type: jpg IMG_0117.jpg (53.6 KB, 15 views)
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