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AaronCombs 09-27-2010 09:23 AM

DIY: 110g w/ 55g refuge
This project just recently started in the past week due to me having some extremely lucky deals on some tanks. My wife isn't thrilled with my findings, lol... but she tolerates them haha. Currently I run over 10 tanks at any given point.

Recently I acquired a 110 gallon custom tank. 1/2 inch glass, with bar at top to keep from bowing out.
The tank was used to house oscars. It was in rental property, the owner of the tank left it.
The property management team sold me the tank, light and gravel. However they kept the fish.
Bought this tank setup for $100.

Found a guy who had tons of tanks from a pet store he bought out. Bought two 55 gallon tanks for $40 each. However no pumps... nothing else.

So for two tanks that will be used in my project (110 and 55) I spent $140 dollars to date.

Here's my issue... I want to put a bulk head on the the 110... however can't tell if it's tempered glass, as it was a custom made tank. This is not a regular 110g tank by any means. So I'll have to build a siphon system to suck out the water and send it to the refuge. The siphon will have to have a kill system encase power outage, however this wont be a problem and is easy to do. If I can solve the tempered glass issue, I can have it drilled for 15-20 bucks, by a professional who lives down the street.

This same professional is going to cut the glass or plexiglass I need for this project... to make the 55 gal tank turn into a refuge. The refuge will be built to hold a lot more water than most tend to. As I plan on allowing plants to grow. With some nice lighting and a daily timer.

Cuts I need:
A - 2" x 12"
B - 17" x 12"
C - 18" x 12"
D - 18" x 12"
E - 16" x 12"

Total cost of these pieces 1/8th inch thick $26.80 + tax ... or ... $28.41 (with tax)
I have a Habitat Restore here that sells huge tubes of 100% Silicone for $2.

My running Tab so far:
110 gal - $100
55 gal - $40
Cut Glass - $28.41
Silicone - $2.12
Filter Media - $5.00
Total - 175.53

Remaining things to buy for tanks: 2x containers for siphon, 1/2" tubing 10 feet should be more than enough. I have plenty of air line tubing to keep airflow in the 1/2" siphon tubing. To cut down on sound. Pump. Finally I'll need Bio Balls.

Remaining things to buy for stand... wood, 2x4's mostly. Wont know exact amounts until I finish the Design. I'll add siding to it, then doors. As well a side "trap" door for the 55 to come in and out if needed. Then some Paint to paint it.


Image below shows what the setup will look like.

The Purple box will siphon water down to the filter, which will pass through the bio balls. Near the base of that system will be a 1" gap or so.. that is 12" long. water will easily fill the main chamber which is green. This is where plants will be to assist further. It will overflow into a tunnel, which will overflow into another chamber where the pump will pump it back to the 110 gallon tank.

The teal tunnel is to stop (for the most part) any plants that came loose. For any reason it clogs up you can see that the middle portion of the tube is lower than the filter wall... this is a secondary overflow for safety.

The excess space will be used encase the siphon needs to meet water level encase power outage.

please give me feed back. I'm still needing to find a pump that will work, I haven't picked one out yet. Same with siphon system. If I go with DIY or purchase one. Unsure which I will do. I'll have to check on prices and how much room it will take up if I build it. We shall see. I'm still leaning towards DIY for that.


AaronCombs 09-27-2010 09:59 AM

Looking into this project, I don't know if I will be able to get it done by end of Oct... lol... realized I might be moving O_O so if this is the case ... we'll see if I can get it done or not.


AaronCombs 09-28-2010 03:48 PM

I've been designing the stand. So far I'm looking at 40" tall, 25" deep and 74" long. The tank is 73" long, so I might increase the length. So we'll see. 6 doors on it total. Two side doors, 4 in the front. The center strip will have a shelving unit about 8 inches long 6 inches deep, to allow some storage of w/e I need to stick there. The inside will be housing the 55 gallon tank so I need a 13" gap between interior posts.

I'll post pics of the design when I finish tweaking them.

bearwithfish 09-28-2010 08:40 PM

pix pix pix!!!!!

AaronCombs 09-28-2010 08:57 PM

These are sketches right now, nothing final lol...

lol found a typo, on front view and top view they should be showing 74" long not 70" long haha.

bearwithfish 09-28-2010 09:07 PM

now i am just asking but you are going to double up the 2x4 uprights with a shorter one gong from the bottom edge to the top as added strength correct?? just would hate to have this wonderful project come crashing down .... (i almost lost one a few months ago from lack of proper support)

AaronCombs 09-28-2010 10:13 PM

I thought about it but i think you have a point. I'll re-write the top view to show it.

The recommended distance between the two is 18 inches. Mine are roughly 14 inches right now. Hence slightly more structure.

I've also debated about a below the cross bar, and on both sides instead of one side. However I haven't made up my mind yet. If I do that my doors would go from 9" to 7", unless I make it longer overall. Though I might do this on the two center bars, to be safe.

Thanks for the input, keeps me on my toes lol.

The 110 gallon tank I have is quite heavy. The stand will have to hold 1000+ lbs on top and another (roughly) 500 lbs below. So near or over 1500 lbs total.

Edit: I went back and looked at my front view, lol.. it actually shows the support there but the top view doesn't. Don't know how I mixed that one up when I wasn't thinking that at the time.

AaronCombs 09-29-2010 06:41 AM

bearwithfish 09-29-2010 07:41 AM

i got thinking last night and wanted to toss out another idea for ya.... the main supports are the ends and the middle.... that being said if you reworked the plan a little you could go with 4x4's on the corners and center then only add 1 set of 2x4's between those .. this would lighted the cost and add strength.... and as your sump is a 55 this would permit more room to get in and monkey with things as needed... just an idea ....

AaronCombs 09-29-2010 08:02 AM

I had initially thought of using 4x4's for that reason, but my brain wouldn't allow me to think how to put it together at that time.

Let me sketch up some ideas and I'll show you later today what I came up with, if I have time. I work until 5pm est.

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