mknightryder

Mknightryrder's PA 150

478 posts in this topic

Going to go ahead and get this thread started, so I can document the build, breakdown, and transfer from the 90g. I was torn between the rimless 120g w/ external overflow (like Adams, Ark's, & Jordan's) or a 150g. Well, I ordered a Planet Aquariums 5'x2'x2' 150g center overflow and NO STUPID CENTER BRACE from Aqua Hut on 8/8/15. A "standard" tank comes with clear silicone, but I wanted black, so this kicked it into the "custom" category. Anyways, got a call yesterday that the tank was in already! My help bailed on me at the last minute this morning and I went on ahead to the HUT anyways. As soon as I got there the bottom fell out and it started raining cats n' dogs!!! Luckily, there was a small break in the rain and John, his father, & a new Reefer < good samaritan > helped get it loaded up. My bed on my truck is only 6'6", so it was a good fit with some old pillows on each end. I placed a sheet of plywood down and then screwed some runners down length-ways beside the tank. I really want to thank John and his father for getting wet and helping load this thing in the back of very slippery truck!!! And the good samaritan too! I wanted to tell him about BRK like I always do whenever I run into a new reefer, but I forgot with all the stress and excitement...

John was told by Planet Aquariums that there version of the external overflow box was going to go away and if the customer wanted external they could have PA install a Ghost Overflow instead... Also, since black silicone is so popular, they will begin making that standard soon. Just a FYI for anyone thinking of ordering a new tank soon... 

The usual 40-45 minute ride home turned into a 1 1/2 white-knuckled terrifying ride home! Traveling with a brand spanking new tank in the back of the truck is already stressful enough on Southeast Louisiana roads! And then mother nature had to stick her head in and ruin the party! It was raining sideways, limbs in the road, and lightening popping trees really close! But we made it home safely! I had over three inches of water in the tank when I got home to the safety of the garage. I was so worried it was going to start hailing!

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"Water Test" complete! Tank had over 3" of water in it! I started pumping it out with an old mj1200 and stopped to take a pic.

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Edited by mknightryder

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Good looking tank. How thick is the glass? How many holes for drains and returns?

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I had several Reef Saver rocks left over from my 90g build. I want more tables and ledges in the 150's aquascape, so instead of ordering shelf rock I just broke the tile saw out and made some on my own... pics from earlier today.

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These rocks were in a bucket in my shed for the past three years. They had a little dust and debris on them like dead spiders and bugs.  I soaked them in a bleach bath yesterday and I was going to Muratic Acid bath them today... They came out the bleach bath sparkly clean like when first ordered from BRS. I may just soak them in RODI and then test for phosphates. If they are high then I'll do the acid bath. I'm thinking they'll be good.

My plan is to use all the live rock out of my 90 and then re-arrange it all and incorporate some of these flat ledges into that. Looking to do three-four islands that have "roots" into the sandbed I might even bridge two islands together...  Lagoons and valleys in between...I definitely do not want the 'scape to go up as high as my 90's did into the water column. And I definitely want to isolate my BTA to one island incase it wants to move around.... It has never really moved in my 90, so I'm hoping it'll stay put wherever it ends up in the 150g. Guess I'll see how the 'scape is going to go when I cross that bridge...

Edited by mknightryder
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Good looking tank. How thick is the glass? How many holes for drains and returns?

Glass is 1/2" and the overflow box is 15"x 5 3/4 made with the same 1/2" glass, but wrapped/covered with Abs plastic or something similar.  Bottom is drilled for two 1" bulkheads for the drains and two 3/4" bulkheads for the returns. I've already got the materials to do the two Durso's in 1 1/4" and reduce down to 1" male thread down at the bulkhead with a 1 1/4" slip x 1" male thread fitting. For whatever reason this works great on my 90. I tried a 1" durso on my 90g, but it never acted right. The 1 1/4" down to the bulkhead just works... somehow. lol. I'll leave the two 1" bulkheads underneath and go 1" to the two 1" bulkheads on my Trigger Systems sump. ( I've always just ran one side of this w/ the 90g and fished wires through the spare drain's hole in the sump, but now I can actually use it and run two filter socks!) I've tried a stockman pipe and the herbie on my 90 and always had to fiddle-fart with the flow to get them right and fiddle-fart some more when the pump got a little slime in it... Durso has always been silent and trouble free next to my tv.... Only thing I wish this tank had was a third drain hole in the OB like DSA tanks have ( big DSA tanks have 3 drains and 2 returns usually), so I could run it as an emergency drain... I use an abandoned 3/4" bulkhead in my 90's OB now that has never been put to use. but is there for piece of mind...

For the return I have the material to leave the Fluval Sp4 with 1" spa flex then go to a 1" manifold system that runs my refugium portion of my sump, two reactors, a spare, and then to the two returns. I will put a true-union type ball valve on each feed (gates cost way too much) and even valves on both returns, so I can dial everything in perfectly... My 90g's return is fed off one 3/4" line that tees in the back and for some reason one loc-line blows way harder than the other....  This is why I will put a ball valve on each return line, so they can be fine tuned to flow the same.

 This Tank is perfect for me! I'm coming from an old been re-siliconed twice 75g cichlid tank and a fourth or fifth time owner 90g old-skool humangous center brace Oceanic tank that is scratched to hell and back! The smell of fresh silicone was nice in my nostrils today! :rolling: Guess this means I'll be in the hobby a little while longer and you guys can read my long posts!!! Sad to see the 90g go as I don't want to break up a few of my corals that have grown onto the back wall and the overflow box, but it's time...

Going to start ripping and cutting some wood tomorrow hopefully....

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Wow! Very nice tank. Can't wait to see this tank and the rest of the system come together :thumbup::thumbup:

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I think I saw that tank the other day when I was in Aqua hut. Was a nice looking tank. I almost inquired if it was for sale.  You should have posted your help backed out. I would have shot over to help. I live literally 5 minutes from AH.

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Thanks guys and yes I am stoked! :D I got the lumber picked up today, but unfortunately I didn't get to start ripping n' cutting...

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I did find something cool on the tank today. Same day as my twin sisters' Birthday!

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Here's a shot of the overflow box and the holes. I did notice the bottom of the tank is 3/4" thick glass.

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Edited by mknightryder
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Nice new tank! Going bigger to keep tangs or just wanted more room? Here's hoping for a smooth transition.  

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Nice new tank! Going bigger to keep tangs or just wanted more room? Here's hoping for a smooth transition.  

Thanks man! No tank full of tangs I hope. lol B) I'll probably keep my Des. Sailfin and maybe get an Achilles one day though. I used to like tangs, but they  don't always play nice...  Mainly just for more room! 18" front to back was killing me! And yes I'm hoping there is just a tiny blip in the radar so to speak.

Grats man but u still owe us a full shot of tank 8)

Thanks! Best I can do for now is the one up above in the back of my truck! lol Tank's in the garage with the viewing side against the wall, so it doesn't get scratched before we even get started. It'll be after the stand is built before it comes inside.

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Sweet tank. The dimensions are what I would plan to upgrade to eventually. I love my 120 but a little more length would be ideal, any taller or wider and I wouldnt be able to reach the back-bottom. 

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I really like the glass in the over flow, you know won't came apart and leak. Glass to glass. Not glass to plastic or acrylic.  

 

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I really like the glass in the over flow, you know won't came apart and leak. Glass to glass. Not glass to plastic or acrylic.  

 

Yea that's what I was thinking... I did notice one piece of the glass used for the overflow had a small minute scratch in it, but hey it's an overflow right! And the silicone isn't the best down in the tight quarters of the OB... <<< That's just me nick-picking and gripping cause I can't find nothing else to gripe about! The silicone job everywhere's else is Awesome!

Sweet tank. The dimensions are what I would plan to upgrade to eventually. I love my 120 but a little more length would be ideal, any taller or wider and I wouldnt be able to reach the back-bottom. 

I've always been drawn to the 5' length of a tank... 6' to me just means more light fixtures/ extra/ longer bulbs and bigger badder powerheads needed. Plus the added water volume... It just felt right. Not to big, but not small, and my existing fixture can cover it with some shading out on the edges... plus a little more room for the fishes.

And I love the 24" width coming out of two 18" wide tanks! It just gives the tank more depth. The 24" height is do-able if you only reaching back 24". Heck I could totally do a 30" wide tank, but the height would have to be a tad shorter... My "future" dream tank before this one was always the DSA 190, but it was 5'x24"x27", but I soon realized that I did NOT want to go deeper than 24" and take care of that much more water...

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Made a bunch of sawdust and shavings this evening... :thumbup:

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 Hoping to get to screw something tomorrow evening! :rolling:   18-to-80 Blind, crippled, & crazy! If they can't walk, I'll drag em'!!! :rollingyellow:

First time using a Kreg jig for pocket holes. At first it was cumbersome, but I soon got into a rhythm marking and drilling all the holes in every piece symmetrically. I'm pretty impressed as to how strong a pocket joint is too...

 

Edited by mknightryder
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First time using a Kreg jig for pocket holes. At first it was cumbersome, but I soon got into a rhythm marking and drilling all the holes in every piece symmetrically. I'm pretty impressed as to how strong a pocket joint is too...

 

I love my Kreg jig. Working on a small project now for the tank, and I pulled mine back out of the toolbox. Like you said, takes a little while to get the hang of it, but once you get into a rhythm it's hard to beat.

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Good progress.  Make sure all the legs/upright supports are the exact same length. If not, the tank will not sit level. Been there, done that. I used a fence/stop on the miter saw, so all the legs was cut to exact equal lengths. 

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Mike,

You're going to question yourself once you get it set up....haha "Why didn't I go bigger a long time ago."  Sweet looking tank!

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Good progress.  Make sure all the legs/upright supports are the exact same length. If not, the tank will not sit level. Been there, done that. I used a fence/stop on the miter saw, so all the legs was cut to exact equal lengths. 

Yea me too... My 90g stand was built in one afternoon and it shows.... if you look really hard enough...  For this one I wanted to massage it really good and take my time and do it right. I made a jig for the legs, braces, and upper/lower bands, so they're all cut the same length. Heck I even bought new Freud Diablo blades for my miter and table saw. Cut like a laser!  I'm using 2x4 (1 1/2"x 3 1/2") for the bottom and 2x8 (1 1/2"x 7 1/4") for the top, so I don't have to have a center brace. I will have a center brace, but it will be removable and is only there, so I can have two smaller panels and not one long 49.25" one... The front legs are 2x6 (1 1/2"x 5 1/2") and the side legs ripped a 2x6 down to 1 1/2"x 4", so the corners would truly be a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" corner. One thing i wish I would have done was just ripped the lumber down to get the 1 1/2" as flat as possible. Or at least had them planed with a planer... I hate how the 4 corners on a 2x has the 45* bevel on them. It really shows when you stand the two up rights together...<<I'll get a picture of that later to show y'all what I mean..... The 2x8's are straight, but they do have a good crown in them that caused a "hump" in the center. So yesterday I went and bought a belt sander and got the Hump knocked down pretty darn good. I still plan to put a 3/4" whitewood plywood top on just to hold things true and square even though it is needed with my trimmed tank. I pulled corner to corner on both boxes and the 2x8 box is off a 1/32" of an inch...  not to bad with #2 lumber...  I'll use 3/4" ww ply for the sump area and run a piece across the back of the stand too. At first I tried to hide all my pocket holes all on on side of the uprights, but I just didn't like how the joint, fit, and feel felt, so I added a few more pocket holes all the way around the wood and will hide the holes (that could be seen) with the pocket hole fillers and the actual trim. Also, I countersunk some 10x 3.5" deck screws in some spots as well.

Here's a few progression/construction shots:

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Hoping to have it all complete and have a few coats of primer on it over the weekend...

Mike,

You're going to question yourself once you get it set up....haha "Why didn't I go bigger a long time ago."  Sweet looking tank!

Yea brother you right! Only bad thing is my son is looking at small sharks now and wishing we would've went a few hundred gallons more... :banghead:

Edited by mknightryder
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Not to late to stop, pick up a longer 150.

Negative Ghostryder! I want a short, fat one! Not long and skinny.. lol  If I never see another piece of No. 2 pine I'd be fine... Been a pain getting it to my liking's and furniture grade.... Hoping paint n' wood filler hides the few imperfections....

Got the trim on over the weekend and a coat of primer on the outside last night with the hvlp spray gun. Planning to do four coats of primer. I sure wish I would have hit the inside before I put the top and back on... Would've been so much easier!

My 3/4" bottom is raised an 1/8" off the finished floor which is ceramic tile. I figured having it raised a slight tad would help leveling just the perimeter of the stand and wouldn't have to worry about a high tile causing the entire stand to see-saw.

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Overflow box cut-out.

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Trimmed and one coat of primer on the outside.

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Hoping to get the doors cut out this evening or tomorrow. They will be flat panels on the outside of stand and will overlap each opening 1" all the way around. I will have a 1X type picture frame mounted to the back side of them to fit snug in each opening. I just ordered my magnets from K&J magnetics and will countersink them in the top of each door, so they doors are removable. Still have to putty alot of finish staple holes and a few joints. Going to be a lot of scuff sanding in between each coat of primer. Hoping to get my electronics panel built on the left side and I'm basically stealing Twinn's idea I think...

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