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Bloke 10-05-2007 09:29 PM

Bloke's 90g Build
OK, here we go...

I bought a 90g reef-ready tank from Sea Dreams to replace the 55g tank sitting in my family room. I wanted something a little larger without going to a 6' tank. I will be running it with a 45g sump which should give me a nice volume of water. The sump used to run DNGSPOT's 150g setup so it should work great for this 90g. It has already been drilled for an auto top-off and I already have a float valve - therefore, it's ready to go.

For plumbing, I have an Ocean Runner 3500 which pumps ~950gph. I am sure with a single drain that I will have to adjust it, so I plan to use the pump to run a UV sterilizer as well. I have heard nothing but good things about these pumps and best of all, they run very quietly, which is another plus since this tank will be sitting within 3 feet of the TV.

I've already purchased the lighting for it from a place called Catalina Aquarium. I really would suggest checking them out. I bought a 2x250w MH setup including 2 10k bulbs for less than I could find at most other sites including piecing one together. The only draw back is that some sites offer free shipping whereas they do not.

My first chore is to build a stand. The tank footprint measures 48.5 x 18.5 so I added .25" to each and started cutting. I wanted to make certain to have enough support for what will probably weigh somewhere close to 1000 lbs when filled. I also wanted to make it a little taller than most factory stands, so I made it 36" tall. I plan to make the canopy between 12" and 14" tall. More to come...

Here are a few pics of the SketchUp blueprint I drew for the stand.

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:29 PM

For the sump, I think I am going to have a place where the water can flow over a filter pad before dumping into the return chamber. You can see the pieces of glass which will be holding up the eggcrate and filter media on the left side. My only concern is keeping the calupera off the media, but if it does, the water will simply overflow the last baffle which is lower than the top of the sump.

This is a 45g (~ 48x12x19) tank. Water will be moving from right to left. The display tank will be draining down from the left side to the right side of the sump. I wanted to reduce the head pressure on the pump so I figured I would have it make the shortest run instead of the drain - does that make sense? The pump plumbing will run straight up about 2 feet is all. The Ocean Runner will "T" off where about 200gph will run through a Coralife Turbo Twist 9w UV.

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:30 PM

The sump is going to fit VERY tightly! I measured before I started and there will be about 1/4" extra space between the 2x4 nailers on the stand.

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:30 PM

Here's a picture of the progress on the stand...

I've got the majority of the work done, but I'm not finished. I still have some trim work to do on the canopy as you can see, and of course the doors aren't made yet. Overall, I can't compain; it's coming along nicely. To cut the holes for the doors, I used a router with an edging bit. Worked like a charm.

I hope to be finished with everything tomorrow so I can start to stain this weekend.

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:31 PM

Well, between visiting with some family friends, talking a while with friends, and watching the race today, all I got accomplished was finishing out the canopy. As you can see, I managed to get the rest of the trim on the canopy, the ventilation holes, as well as the lid and the hinges.

I wanted to make certain that I didn't have to hold up the lid when it was lifted, so I bought spring-loaded hinges; typical to those found on children's toy boxes so that once lifted, it would remain open. :)

For ventilation, I cut three 3" holes in the back. I will leave the center hole open and install two 3" Sunon fans in the others. I plan to finish out the doors tomorrow.

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:31 PM

I built doors for it out of 1/4" oak paneling and panel molding and did not like them. They were too flimsy and a waste of time - and after a piece of wood flew off the table saw and caught me in the leg leaving a 4" scratch & bruise, it was a nice release to throw, kick, stomp, and tear up that first set of doors. :mad:

So, after my blood pressure leveled back out, I went back to the store, bought 1/2" 2'x4' oak and corner molding a little smaller than I used on the corners of the cabinet. The end result were doors which are much sturdier and worth attaching to a custom made cabinet.


Next up, stain...

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:31 PM

Well, not only did I stain the cabinet, but I also managed to cover my fingers in the stuff even though I wore gloves. I will touch up the stain tomorrow and prepare to seal it Friday or Saturday.

You'll notice that the trim on the right side of the cabinet has been removed. I will need to remove the entire side to get the sump into the cabinet because it will fit with about 1/8" on each side! :D

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:32 PM

OK - the stand is complete! Built, stained, sealed, and caulked!

I will get the sump under it tonight and plumb it tomorrow. Thoughts?

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:32 PM

Here is a picture of the sump in place. Paneling from the right side was made to be removed to that the sump could be installed or removed if needed. Like I said before, it fits like a glove.

Bloke 10-05-2007 09:33 PM

Here is a picture of everything together. I painted the back of the tank with black Krylon Fusion spraypaint.

Also, notice the height - from the floor to the top of the canopy it's right at 72.5" or basically 6'. And being only 5'10", I will finally have a tank that I can view while standing, instead of assuming the umpiring position. :)

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