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Old 03-30-2010, 08:31 AM   #1
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Matt's 125 Peninsula Build

Hey everyone,

So, I had this gorgeous 46 Gallon bow front tank that I set up with the help of Big Al's teenage employees. No sump, crappy - yet expensive - HOB skimmer with no way to adjust, 2 mediocre lights, etc.....regardless, it was beautiful. Actually won tank of the month on one forum. Here’s a pic of the former tank.



I moved my office and studio – I’m a musician, that’s my job – downstairs and had to open up the whole lower level. This was NOT fun, but the finished product is pretty sweet. This is also my home theatre room. I wanted to upgrade my 46 gallon due to the lack of sump, etc. So, this was the opportunity. The room was set up perfectly for a tank in the middle of the room. I have ALWAYS wanted that. This will be my childhood dream manifested. ☺


The new tank is a 125 gallon Peninsula tank. 60 X 24 X 20 Starphyre glass with euro brace. A closed loop with 2 returns that I will have loctite split into 2 flared ends for each return. One short side is all overflow. I have a custom 55 gal acrylic sump. I will be using the middle section for a refugium. I’ll get into the hardware later. I worked with Tom at Oakville Reef Gallery for this set up. He was very helpful and accommodating. There were several problems and hiccups and he did everything he could to make things right. I am happy with the end result. I know I have quality equipment and anticipate a beautiful, enjoyable experience from here on. (Famous last words!) Tyler from BWI helped me with some of the plumbing – which had to be done twice. (More on that later)

Now, I ordered a 48 X 24 X 20 tank on November 3rd. It took over a month to get and it was not satisfactory – to say the least. One long panel was skewed and the euro brace was upside down, so the top edge was sharp and the bottom edge was smooth ☹. Since the long side was not square it made the euro brace uneven as well. Needless to say, I sent it back. Since I was ordering all over again, I decided to make the tank bigger. I went 60 inches long because I realized how much space the overflow took up and with a 48 inch light fixture, that would only leave a couple of inches on either end of the light, which the euro brace took most of that space. Took a while to get the new tank. Now, I am not the most patient person – not a good trait for this hobby, but I was severely tested on this project. It seemed like everything was wrong or delayed, and I mean everything. The Vertex skimmer was way overdue by weeks, the tank taking a long time, and more that I will get into later.

So……waiting, waiting….finally get the new tank. I had asked for INSIDE euro bracing. I don’t like the look of seeing the side of the euro brace sitting on top. Especially since the euro brace stops at the over flow. Well, it was on top! They claim they can’t, from an engineering point do it inside. The jury is still out on that one, but I took the tank and it will actually work out because I plan on putting a piece of acrylic over the overflow to match the euro brace. I am doing this a few reasons. To keep light out of it and stop algae from growing there, to keep my Firefish and Wrasses from jumping in the overflow – or out of the tank- and to make it that much quieter.



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Old 03-30-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
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I built the stand out of 2 X 4’s. Everything was level and square except it was skewed on one side. Can’t figure out how one side is off when the rest in ok, sooo…….did it again! Now, since the tank is going in the middle of my room, I am finishing the outside of the tank to match the walls of the room, which is a knock down plaster with a 4 color wash on it. The inside is sealed a painted to avoid any leakage from a possible flood at least to a point. Took FOREVER to level the tank. Since this is the lowest level of the house, the floor is cement and pretty uneven. It was off almost ¾ of an inch over less than 2 feet. Got it slick, though. I was originally going to build the overflow end ‘wall’ up and over the overflow, but decided to paint the overflow glass black instead and put the acrylic lid on the overflow as I mentioned. I didn’t want to make the tank look bulkier than it already is.

I have zero room under the tank. I made it too low – I really wanted it low for viewing but didn’t realize the trouble that would cause working on the Sump .





The overflow is drilled with 4 holes. I used dual Durso Standpipes for the drains and have 2 flared loctite fittings on each return.

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Old 03-30-2010, 08:35 AM   #3
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So, here’s where it gets “interesting” – meaning I ran into a lot of setbacks. My original equipment list was for 2 Blueline HD 40 pumps and a Vertex IN-180 skimmer. As I said, this is going into the middle of a home theatre/office/recording studio. Quiet was the name of the game. I have found that most people in this hobby have an interesting idea of what “quiet” is. I turned on the Blueline pumps and could not believe how loud they were. I could hear them in the other room with the door closed 20 feet away! So……I need the quietest. Enter The Dragon! (Cue Bruce Lee movie soundtrack) I couldn’t take any chances, and since Tunze would not let me return their pumps if I didn’t like them, I bought a Red Dragon 6.5 for the return and an 8.2 for the closed loop. Ok, plain and simple these are the best pumps, period. So quiet I can’t even hear them when I turn the on and off. Super! Of course, I had already plumbed everything for the bLuelines and the Red Dragons are completely different. So, there was some challenging plumbing to do and I had even less room now under the tank.

So, noise problem soved, right?......wrong! I turned on the Vertex IN-180 (which states “silent” operation) and I could feel the vibration upstairs. The hum and noise from the pump was ridiculous to me. So……. Enter The Dragon! (Cue Bruce Lee movie soundtrack) I got a good deal on a Bubble King Mini 200 Gen 1. Fantastic skimmer and quiet! I can only hear a soft hum from the pump and the bubbles working. The most noise I am hearing is the water running down the returns and hitting the water in the sump.

Any ideas how to quiet it some more? I want a solution that has little to no risk of blocking and flooding. If I flood the new floor I am sleeping in the garage for the rest of my life! ☺


More pics to follow.......
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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Looks good. Nice start.
The only suggestion I have is you may want to rethink that pink foam under the tank. If the tank has trim around the bottom and that supports the tank, the foam could put upward pressure on the glass and crack it.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:13 AM   #5
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That's funny you say that. The pink foam is to avoid pressure points. I researched and talked to dozens of people - including the reef shop I bought everything from. They all said the foam would PREVENT cracks from uneven pressure on the tank.

I don't know of anyone in my area that doesn't put this foam under their tank. The idea is the foam would compress where there is more pressure and even out any pressure points.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Here is a build thread showing what foam can do... page 9 on up.
Ziggy953's 150 Build errrr....120 Build
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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If the tank has trim on the bottom, the trim should support the weight. You can put foam around the edges, but if the trim compresses the foam, it will force it up against the glass and you may end up like the thread Jonathan link to above.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:02 PM   #8
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Ok, so I asked a BUNCH of people and did some more searching and all i have read - short of your input and that thread - is that you MUST put foam underneath. I'm not arguing the point, I can only go by what I'm told, as this is my first large saltwater tank.

Now, in that thread it sounds like there may have been more to it than just the foam. Was the bottom pane of glass tempered on his tank? It was used, so who knows what the tank had been through. I have no idea,just wondering.

Regardless, I have already filled the tank and have it up and going, so I'm stuck with the foam either way.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:46 PM   #9
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Well, I hope it works out well for you. It looks like a great start I look forward to seeing more pics as you continue your build
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:58 PM   #10
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I would contact the manufacturer. I know Marineland will not honor their warranty if foam is used under their glass tanks. I believe Aqueon (AGA) has the same policy.
Did you ever look at a store bought stand? They have nothing to support the glass. The tank it supported by the trim around the edges. Tank manufacturers warranty their tanks when using an open bottom stand like those.

Nevermind...I see you already filled it. Good luck.
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