Squatch's Continuing Adventure with a 40g breeder

Discussion in 'Reef Chronicles' started by Squatch XXL, May 9, 2015.

  1. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    I am currently keeping a hated pair of fresh water melanochromis auratus Ciclids in a 40 breeder. I have been trying to adopt them out locally for weeks. I got the call today and they will be out and free tomorrow after work.

    In celebration, I ordered 40lbs of crushed coral substrate, 50lbs base rock and a small generic HOB skimmer.

    Stocking after a very long cure/cycle (8 weeks min) will start with a chromis or other generic damsel-ish fish. From there I will be finding a Odontodactylus scyllarus female of the smallest size I can find.

    There will be a pvc cave/burrow made for her.

    I will be doing a rubbermaid cure/cycle, so my DT may get drilled for overflows. If so, the skimmer will get dropped for a refuge.

    Pictures will come in the future.
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    Using fish to cycle a tank is not considered the best method. It's very hard on the fish, and often kills them. Instead, go yo your grocery store and get one raw shrimp from the seafood counter and put that in the systen and let it rot. You'll get a much better cycle that way.
     
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  3. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    Exactly how it was planned.
     
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  4. sirrealism

    sirrealism Well-Known Member

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    Dave I think you miss read his post. It says "Stocking after a very long cure/cycle (8 weeks min) will start with a chromis" I miss read it to start also.
    Sounds like a fun tank. Post lots of pics please
     
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  5. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    My man cave is adjacent to our mechanical room. Within a 2" space from the back of my tank is a unused drain for an old sump setup. Basically I may never have to get wet hands again on a water change.

    I will edit in some photos of how my day went.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last picture shows what I am almost done with right now. LETS DO THIS!

    45 minutes later:

    [​IMG]

    Today I believe I can confirm via the website and by the bottom of the tank that it is not tempered. Bonus find is that I have a drain line for water so close. I may end up drilling it myself. I will have to do a bit of research to see if this would affect the integrity of the bottom.

    Later this weekend its a trip to get me another rough-neck trashcan. I'm going to do a garage cure with the base rock and sand. I highly doubt that I will have any "live" rock introduced ever. A single mantis system could be overrun with the wrong hitchhiker fast, and most if not all biological removal methods are lower on the food chain than her. If I can find a piece that I trust to not have aptasia or some calerpa I may pick one up, but nothing more than to seed some coraline. I want full control on conditions.

    Note to self:

    Order hydrometer
     
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    Last edited: May 9, 2015
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  6. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    I doubt I will be drilling the tank. For a single mantis, my tank is very large. I may simply "create" an in-tank refuge that has the heater and skimmer in. It certainly won't bother me to lose a 40-60+ square inch area in the back corner or even an area on the side. My primary concern is to provide the best conditions for the species I intend to keep. Aesthetics are not something that I am concerned with.

    I am not 100% on having a sump or not, but am sure that drilling may not be the best idea considering the species that I intend to house has the ability to break glass.....Let alone allow it to hammer into glass that now has holes drilled into it.

    I have some planning to do based on the footprint of the pump that I use to circulate water. This will dictate how large a sump OR partitioned area that I need.

    My baserock and CC substrate will be here this week. I expect a rubbermaid cure/cycle to take place in the shed outback while I plan the tank's fluid dynamics. I've got some minor things that I need to pickup, but overall I am now at a standstill. Idle hands.......I hate my saltwater bug. It always is itching, and always nagging that I don't spend enough or have a large enough tank.
     
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  7. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    So I went totally opposite of what I thought and ended up picking up bulkheads and pvc to do dual overflows 3/4". Ill either be drilling it myself when my bit comes in the mail, or if I get a day off (hahaha) before hand Ill take it to a quasi-local shop. After the overflows are installed, I will be applying a black plexiglass background inside of the tank from top to bottom. Mainly for the look, but partly to keep direct hits off the back.
     
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  8. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    Things got happening today: I was balls out all day. Photo heavy beware.

    Picked up my 50lb shipment of reef-saver rock.

    (MISSING PHOTO)

    wide view: Agro on right, and reef rock on left.
    [​IMG]

    the cure tank:
    [​IMG]


    Cure tank up close:
    [​IMG]

    Rocks were added to de-chlorinated water. Water took all afternoon to stabilize at 1.0225 sg. I think that part of the issue was the agro-crete rocks were used in a freshwater tank about a week ago. I figure by the time it is due for a top off, I can add a gallon of salt water.

    The container is PP5 plastic, which is food and human safe. I feel comfortable using it. Its jammed in there jelly tight. There is about 12 gallons of water.....in a 26 gallon tub.

    Inside the box is a 250gph powerhead hooked to 3/4 inch pvc (you can see it in the bottom corner of the last photo). Water is pushed from the back side of the tub, and removed from the bottom corner there.

    Heating at 79f with a 200w heater.

    I added a product called "Bio Spira" because at the time of purchase, it seems like it could be used to start the cycle. I am now second guessing, and will be adding a shrimp unless someone can advise otherwise.

    Totally off topic, my wife and I agree that my agrocrete looks more like reef rock than the dry stock that was provided. However the agrocrete is just a bit more dense than the actual reef rock. I used 3 parts CC, 1 part argonite sand and 1 part portland cement...just add water until it becomes clumpy then drop pieces into a crushed coral filled box. Its kinda like how a cat uses its litter box. I was literally trying to find a way to get rid of the CC and sand at that time. It seemed like a great idea.

    I may yet use a phosphate remover because I allowed the agrocrete into a FW tank, and it developed a bit of algae.....However I will wait on a test kit to tell me if it is needed in 3 weeks.


    Also I did layout work for tank drilling. I really cannot explain it better than the photos:

    Right side layout:
    [​IMG]

    Left Side layout: (opposite of right)
    [​IMG]

    Full tank shot just because:
    [​IMG]

    3/4" Durso configuration:
    [​IMG]

    Im sure that I will have to adjust the durso's vertical to account for noise. I have the "minimum tolerances" for the overflow boxes based on the size of the durso. I will have 26 inches of surface skimming, and could potentially handle 1000+ gph. This is will have a total fall of 1-1/2 inches. I will craft them from black plexiglass in the next few weeks. I have an idea that I way overestimated and they will end up being a bit smaller. I may even craft one out of a half of a piece of 4" abs pipe.


    The tank goes out Friday morning to get drilled.

    And just for laughs, my though book:
    [​IMG]



    *I edited this 06-27-2015 because apparently whoever hosted my photos simply stopped. I re-upped photos just for history's sake*
     
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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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  9. StirCrayzy

    StirCrayzy Well-Known Member

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    I love a good build.!
     
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  10. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    I loved it when the glass place that assured me they could do it TWICE on the phone waited for me to lunk that tank out to their office on the most hot/humid day in weeks.......Only to stare at me like I had a second head growing out of my shoulder.

    Im setting up in my driveway for drilling. I sucked it up and bought a 1-3/8" bit from a "Big chain" store. My next post will either be my last until I get a new tank, or will be successful. Either way expect more photos.

    I have more than a few pieces of random panes of glass all around. I will have plenty of practice.
     
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  11. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    Here's wishing you the best of luck with the drilling ! :nessie:
     
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  12. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I saw your post before I started and It gave me a bit of calm thinking that others were there with me. I have never drilled in glass before. I have used DC bits for concrete and rebar-reinforced walls. After about 3 inch you almost have to change to a base/drill press type of setup.

    4 hours, 6 beers and 10 cigarettes later....

    Trial Hole:
    [​IMG]

    First side done:
    [​IMG]

    Posting up against my knee: (Ill talk more about this)
    [​IMG]

    2nd- Hole
    [​IMG]

    Leak test:
    [​IMG]


    I started these holes on a 45 degree angle. I Used a corded drill because I hate cordless tools with their weak torque. The cord was hung from above to avoid the plug from being wet. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING ANYTHING WITH A CORDED TOOL AND WATER WITHOUT A GFCI PLUG. However, I did not get the drill motor wet, and did not get electrocuted. I had no GFCI. I risked a fatal mistake. Do not do as I did.

    I would have spent less time, but my neighbor and I chewed the fat for almost 2 hours.

    The trial hole was to discover that I could do this. I did not "layout" so all I knew was that I could. The first hole in the tank, I mis-aligned the hole, and was committed to being about 1/8" lower than the layout. There is a certain depth-distortion with a puddle of water in the middle of the work space. I can handle that for my only mistake of the day.

    The second hole came out perfect.

    So if you drill your own tank, make sure you test it and understand where the bit needs to hit first on your layout.

    I wanted to comment on my photo that my better half took of me drilling. I refer to this as "posting up". I use this technique welding for stability. If you notice that my left hand has a death grip on the body of the drill. My left leg is firmly planted, and my elbow is locked into my lap. This is the best way to make a good weld, and for other things that involve precision. I have drilled 6" holes through 12" thick walls by hand with a DC Drill bit on a hilti drill motor sitting on a bucket. You cannot "wiggle" at all in that situation because the drill bit will catch and either knock you under the chin, or if you hold on tight you got for a ride around the drill a few times. I have seen this happen already to others.

    I found that I could go plenty faster than what most you-tubes report....My trial hole took 8 minutes on 1/4" glass. The next one I spent almost a half hour, and the third almost an hour. I did not use constant supply of water and used "flush" in my water dam every time a Tom Waits song ended on my cd player. (every 3-4 minutes). I went real slow on my tank obviously. I think any of us would do the same. (Blue Valentine By Tom Waits. 5 Star album)

    It filled up fine and held water without exploding for a half hour. Next step is the stand. I predict a simple 2x4" design in black to match the tank. With this being a man cave item, I don't want a fancy stand......yet.

    Back of tank is due to be painted black or deep blue.

    Also, my cure-tub has began to bulge at the sides. The lid is still mated to the top, and I don't feel that It will fail catastrophically. Even if it does, I wouldn't be bothered.

    Thanks again

    -Squatch
     
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    Last edited: May 18, 2015
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  13. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    Well Done !
     
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  14. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    I can honestly say that ANYONE should be able to drill through glass. It requires time, patience and a bit of clean cool water. I am still kinda miffed about my local glass places not helping me. I would have paid twice what I paid for the bit ($43) to have a skilled glass worker do what I did. I am thinking about sending that glass company a photo of the finished tank, and asking that they refer similar requests my way. If they can't do it, they can at least help out. If I were to be doing this to generate income, I would use a "jig" and not simply free-hand the hole.

    *Edit*
    I should try to get Yuengling to sponsor this build.
     
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    Last edited: May 18, 2015
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  15. StirCrayzy

    StirCrayzy Well-Known Member

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    I've seen the jig in use, and it looks pretty foolproof, I think it's hardly necessary for success.
    I'll note that corded drills have the advantage in the sense that they will maintain consistent RPM throughout the project. Torque actually plays little part in glass cutting since there should be minimal resistance on the bit.
    The disadvantage as you pointed out Squatch, is the element of mixing amperage and water!
    As most of us find out, it's not a job to rush, and can easily wear out a battery or two, depending on glass thickness and # of holes.
    it is however plenty safe to say most newer drills with Lithium batteries are quite efficient enough to tackle the task.... With an extra battery on hand of course, just in case.
    Great job with the drilling, that's a major accomplishment.!
     
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  16. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I am breathing easier. All the hard work is done.
    Id tell anyone who thinks about this. Make a jig if you are obsessed like I am. I wish I had, and will in the future. Another thing I will do is line up the hole and start it on the inside, but only to score the penetration area. Then move to the outside for the drilling. Also there is a small dig where I moved from the 45 degree angle to upright. It is slight, and as far as I can tell is irrelevant. However, It would be easier to use a jig for anyone.
    Torque is TOTALLY unnecessary for this as you say. However, the price of batteries for dewalt and ryobi make for a tough decision financially. This drill is familiar to me for 16 years, and has the finesse of a Cadillac. My "Old-faithful" is an old black and decker professional corded. My father was a pipefitter before I was, and 25-30 years ago this was a standard issue. He gifted it to me a decade + ago, and it still has all the power I need to do auto work or as this shows delicate hole drilling. This model would drill a hole for a 3" threadolet in steel pipe. It would also twist wrist off your hand if you aren't stable. He and I got a kick out of the photographs tonight. We never imagined that drilling glass was possible.
     
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    Last edited: May 18, 2015
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  17. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    Stand is done:

    [​IMG]
    The only tools used are pictured. Nothing else was needed. I should have wore gloves because I got my finger once, and that saw blade is SHARP. Always wear gloves kiddos. Total loss was Six 2x4" that cost $2.70 each. It said premium, and being out of my league seemed cheap enough for premium. They were 96" long each. I treated them like pipe and used them in the most efficient manner. I threw more weight in bottles away than in wood.

    And painted:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I've gotten busy with work. The sump will be a project for another week. I still haven't received the crushed coral substrate.

    Here it is in all its glory in my man cave. If I was asked how high it is, I literally do not know. I decided height based on using up a remaining piece of 2x4" to produce no waste. What you see in the first photo also contains 100% of my waste from this project. A few little squares.

    [​IMG]

    I am a plumber, not a carpenter. Thank goodness for you-tubes. I managed this from a 3 minute instruction video here:



    Props to Greg Jones for this video.
     
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    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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  18. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    To do list:
    *Overflow boxes.
    *Eggcrate bottom.
    *Where is this shipment of crushed coral at? Oh my god fed ex, Now all I see is the arrow!
    *plexi-glass strike absorbing backdrop.
    *Try to unsee the arrow.
    *10-20 gallon tank sump. Will need to cut glass, and will probably do myself since the local shops are inept.
     
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  19. StirCrayzy

    StirCrayzy Well-Known Member

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    Building custom sump, or using a tank to start with?
    Use the biggest sump that you can get in and out of the stand. Of course, don't short yourself on storage space either.
    check petco for $1/gal sales.
     
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  20. StirCrayzy

    StirCrayzy Well-Known Member

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    I would skip the Styrofoam in the video, opt for a pc of mdf, or 3/4 ply instead.
     
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