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Old 12-12-2008, 12:42 AM   #1
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Week 3 of Aquarium Restoration, help me decide!

Hi guys. Ive been MIA for about 2 years or so i believe. I have a 120 gallon aquarium which i had to take apart and store because we moved. At my new house i took a look around and realized the black aquarium cabinet would look hideous with the new decor, so i decided to fancy it up a bit to match my new crib.

I spent the first week sanding and wood puttying all the imperfections. The original cabinet had two small doors on the front, about a foot apart from eachother. This prevented me from comfortably accessing the tank underneath. In fact the only way to insert and remove the sump was from the back. Nay i say to thee. I removed the two small doors as well as the support wall inbetween. To compensate i added new beams and a bar underneath as well as multiple reinforcements in all the corners. An elephant can sit on this cabinet and it won't break

In the first picture you will notice the new front doors are wood colored and not black like the rest of the cabinet. Those are the doors i made. Anway, im babbling..... i primed and painted it week two. I chose a black waterproof exterior paint for the inside. and now im at week three. i just finished doing the faux finish today all around the cabinet and in all the crevices of the overlays.







Its basically finished except im touching up the faux finish here and there, and im gonna wait 2 weeks for all the paint to fully cure before i add the glossy clearcloat.

So i plan on doing a reef tank again similar to my previous setup, except this time im going to take it slow. I want to avoid all the mistakes ive made in the past. I plan on cycling with uncured live rock. I can't decide if i should use sand or gravel. I feel like sand makes the water cloudier, quicker.

Here is a picture of what my tank used to look like.



sand or gravel for the new setup?

discussss.....
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:19 AM   #2
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Looks like you went with sand in your previous tank. Why would you want to use gravel?
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:14 AM   #3
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If i had to choose between the two i would go with sand because gravel will trap deterius and cause you issues with nitrates down the road. I think in the end a mixed sediment would be the best. Mostly sugar sized sand with a little bit of other grain sizes including a bit of gravel would probably be the most natural and beneficial to the tank.

btw the sands looks very nice and your old set up looks good too. nicely done.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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If i had to choose between the two i would go with sand because gravel will trap deterius and cause you issues with nitrates down the road. I
My thoughts exactly
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
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Your restoration looks awesome....
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:02 PM   #6
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Sand all the way!
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:09 PM   #7
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The restoration on the stand looks awesome... can't wait to see it up and running again
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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here's another shot. i checked again this morning and the paint is doing pretty good along the lines of curing. maybe i can do the clear coat within a week.



in the mean time, ive decided to go with sand again. the reason i didn't want sand was because it makes a mess when anything touches it. also a few times i had powerheads come loose off their suction to the glass and point downward, turning my tank into a snow globe. it was a nitrate nightmare. this time everything is gonna be hard lined with PVC pipes and stuff. im actually planning the plumbing right now too waiting for the paint to cure.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:07 PM   #9
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looks really good cant wait to see it up and running any plans on livestock yet?
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:21 PM   #10
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Lightbulb







i painted the back blue today and after it dried i couldn't wait any longer and set it up. there's no plumbing yet and no water/fish of course, but i just wanted to see how it looked.

for livestock:

I plan on having a Rose Bulb Anemone with a large mated clown pair inside. I would also like to have the black and white clowns somehwere in the tank, but ive got to do plenty of research still and see if i can have all these different clowns together without a gang war. Once the RBT anemone finds himself a nice spot to settle down, im going to start adding corals.

im planning on taking this very slow and steadily. I dont think my tank will see any livestock until february or march. I would like to cycle it and let the bacterial colonies fully take hold with their live rock before i add anything.

Im planning on creating a ridiculous reef tank. As many hard and soft corals as is possible. fish are going to be few. just the clowns and maybe a few others here and there. no tangs or puffers or anything like that. there will of course be inverts, just not many fish.


below the tank in the cabinet im going to put as big of a sump as i can. it will house as much live rock rubble as possible, as well as a protein skimmer and heaters. at the back of my tank, where the overflow is, there is a rather large cavity that leads down to the two drain bulkheads. i plan on filling this entire crevice with rubble rock as well.


what do you guys think?
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