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Old 01-26-2008, 03:31 PM   #21
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That is one great looking stand. Great workmanship. You probably could make a living doing that. LOL
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:56 PM   #22
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I'm glad to see you polied the inside as well believe me it is well worth the little bit of time spent on it.

The stand is looking awesome! I am very impressed! For the canopy one suggestion I have is this; hinge it so you can get in from the front instead of the top. If I had it to do over again I would have built mine in such a way that I could lift the top up and open the front. As it is now I have to remove the canopy from the tank to do anything in the tank. That is a pain!!! The next tank we setup will be a built in and I will have access panels from the back for the lighting.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:15 PM   #23
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Looks great thus far. Very nice.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:57 AM   #24
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Glass Drilling 101
Actually this turned out to be way easier than I thought. Once you get past the fear of the glass breaking when you hear the drill bit grinding thru, you're OK. Total time to drill the hole...5 mins.

I got everything ready. Diamond bit from Ebay ($6), plumbers putty ($1.99) and bulkhead from LFS ($10). I layed the flange where I wanted the hole and just outlined it so I knew where to drill.



I made a dam with the putty and filled it about 1/2 way with water. I also read that using foiled duct tape on the back will help prevent chipping. In my case, it was a waste. The hole didn't go thru exactly straight and when the bit went thru on the one edge first, the tape fell off when all the water drained thru the opening.



Here we are about 1/2 way thru. The water was white from the ground up glass. I mopped up the water but you can still see some of the white glass grindings.



Success!



And the finished hole with the bulkhead in place.



This was really easy and fast. What I did learn was when starting the hole, drill it at the highest speed you can. I used a Craftsman cordless drill and tried going slow at first, but the bit just slid around. I pulled the trigger full speed and even tho it got pretty loud with the grinding noise, the bit caught and away it went. I stopped about 1/2 way to take a pic. I wouldn't do that again either as it was scary restarting the hole. Once you start, keep the drill full speed and go until you are thru the glass. I used virtually no pressure on the drill. I just let it go on it's own.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:30 PM   #25
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I love the way this is turning out so far. Nice pictures, and thanks for sharing
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #26
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I drilled my 55 a few weeks ago but it took me a lot longer to do it because I was afraid of breaking the glass. It is a nerve racking process!!! You are much more bold then I, I don't think I could drill a brand new tank.

As it appears that is the end of the tank and I don't recall reading what you said you were drilling it for. So what are you drilling for?
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:11 PM   #27
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Thanks for sharing the glass drilling experience. I've thought of doing this on multiple occasions.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:14 PM   #28
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Nevermind I just got to looking at the pics more closely and that isn't the new 125 you are drilling. LOL...

Continue on...I will sit quietly and watch.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:28 PM   #29
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However you build that canopy, thiink of access to as much of the tank as possible. That said, my best access is when I have my canopy completely lifted 12-15" above the tank. I'm not sure how that translates to what you need to do, but reaching in from the top is gonna be a bit more difficult for access to the floor of the tank.

Also, somehow be able to still see with the lights at whatever position the canopy is raised, swung, hinged, etc.

The work is outstanding! Looking great!
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:23 PM   #30
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Great pics and advice. Keep it going.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:31 AM   #31
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I've come up with a simple canopy that should work fine. I'll show you what my current canopy looks like and how it's built. This is the same design I started with almost 20 yrs ago when I first set up my 50 reef.

Basically I just built a box with 1x8's with 4 sides and no top or bottom. This is where my 4 reg flourescent bulbs sit. Then I built another box with 4 sides and a top. This houses the MH. The second box just sits on top of the first.








While this worked perfect and gave me all the access I needed, it worked better on the 3' 50 gal tank than it does on the 75. Reason being the 50 only had 1 MH bulb and the 75 has 2. The top box just holds the heat too much. During hot summer days I have to keep the A/C going and put another fan in the canopy.


So on to the new simple design. Not much to describe, so here's a few pics.







I will have 2 holes cut on each side for fans, but pretty much that's it. It sort of looks like it needs something, but it is solid. Oh, and you are looking at it upsidedown (obviously) and the piece leaning against the new stand is the door that will hinge up to open.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:47 PM   #32
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The only thing I would change from the desing in the way you have the reflectors and bulbs. If you turn them 90 degrees and have the bulbs pointing back to front you will get better coverage and overlap with your lighting. I wish I had done that one my 72. I will be doing that one the 180 upgrade later this year.

Are you going to have VHOs? or T5s as supplement?
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:00 PM   #33
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Hmmmmm...maybe you should rethink your design...or research reflector performance. Sanjay Joshi did a 5 part study on different MH reflectors. While I don't claim to be an expect on reading spectral plot graphs, I did alot of research before I bought the parallel reflectors I have. Here is the graph from my reflector.


Sure seems to me that the open ends let alot of light out, which in your scenario, would mean your putting alot of light on the back and front glass. I'm meeting Sanjay this weekend, so I'll ask him what orientation is best.

I'll be using 2 6' URI SuperActinic's for supplemental lighting.
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:58 PM   #34
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Have fun meeting with Sanjay. I got to see him at MACNA a few years ago. He sure knows his stuff!
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:13 PM   #35
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Hey I have no problem being corrected! I would be very interested in knowing what he has to say as well. I think I was thinking about a different kind of reflector not the one you have. I have been looknig at the ones you got on hellolights and I will probably go with the same thing on my 180 upgrade. Thanks for providing the information on the reflectors!!! If that is the way they should be oriented for max light then I will do the same thing!!!

I can't wait to see more pics of what you have done!!!
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:12 PM   #36
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There is nothing better than asking questions. That's pretty much the reason for this thread. If someone can pick up a tip or two, or give me a tip or two, this thread can be a benefit to all.

Reflectors are a pretty important part of the lighting system and I researched to see if I could justify the price (aprox $120 each) for the top of the line Lumenarc's or LumenBrite's compared to the parallel reflectors ($30 each) I bought. There is a big difference in performance, but the price difference was too much for me to handle right now.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:21 PM   #37
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Yeah I know! I would love to pick up 3 of those Lumenarc III for the new tank. That is just too much money for the reflectors. I think I may plan for the upgrade of them one at a time or something. I think I have decided to go with the same reflectors you have they will work for what I'm wanting to do. How are you going to mount your VHOs in the hood??
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:10 AM   #38
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Yup, that was my same thought on the reflectors. Maybe upgrade at a later time.

The VHO's won't actually be mounted, they will sit on the 2 L-shaped pieces of wood you can see on the sides on the new canopy in the last pic. It's the same type of setup as on my current canopy. You can sort of see the bulbs sitting inside the hood on the last pic of my current canopy. It makes it nice for access because I can slide the bulbs back to give myself more room.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:42 AM   #39
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Interesting idea there! I guess it has worked because your 75 looks great!

I'm working out the details of a lighting rack that I will be able to raise and lower inside of the canopy. My canopy will not actually sit on the tank. I'm going to mount it and build it to the celing above the tank and the sides will come down to the top of the tank with the apperance of sitting on the tank. I haven't figured all of that out just yet but I also don't have the tank yet or even started the actual construction. I have a pretty good idea of how I'm going to do it though.

Have any more pics of your work thus far???
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:48 PM   #40
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I made some progress this week on the canopy, but I do computer repair work on the side (helps pay for this hobby) and this was a busy week.

Picking up where we left off.



I didn't really like the idea of having to open up the entire front everytime I have to feed the fish or clean the glass, so I cut 2 openings for doors in the front.



Two simple doors just like the stand.





It's pretty much done now. I just have to paint the inside white, stain the outside, poly the whole thing and put on the doors. I'm pretty happy with how it came out.
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