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-   -   Benjamin's 75g Garage Build (FOWLR to Reef) (

mrbee2828 12-28-2011 05:59 PM

Paint is done... looks sick!!!

TLTGF 12-28-2011 06:36 PM

Looks like some good coverage. My next tank will be black background (mine is blue now)

I would slap some paint on the stand / workbench. Doesn't look bad now, but I think it'll look incomplete if you don't.

mrbee2828 12-28-2011 07:14 PM

Not sure if this is a good idea or not but I was thinking about taping some cardboard over the back now so it doesn't get scratched while I do the plumbing and such down the road.

mrbee2828 12-29-2011 10:50 PM

Crazy day today. Took the kids to the aquarium and managed to work on the garage some. I got 1st portion of the overhead shelf done, painted the wall and the underside of the shelf just for the heck of it. You can see I was about 1" off on my measurements for the width of the shelf as I didn't account for the 1/4" or so lip of the plastic trim so the leg of the shelf is crooked. I'll fix that when I build the rest of the shelving.

I also cut out a huge piece of cardboard and taped it to the back of the glass in the event my piping hits it to avoid scratches. Last thing this evening was cleaning the light fixture and looking into the LEDs. The previous owner had a bubble wand of all things and it crept everywhere and rusted out the LEDs. I'm going to see if I can get replacements and rewire them possibly but you can see in the pictures where I have cleaned and haven't.

Tomorrow I'm actually going to go get more sand and possibly fill the tank!!! I also found a 40gallon breeder on CL that I'm trying to snag before lunch for the sump.

redsea 12-29-2011 10:56 PM

Awesome work! :thumb:

mrbee2828 12-29-2011 10:58 PM

BTW, the sand I have ATM looks like typical east coast sand with small shells and such mixed in. It's kinda' a light gray/brown. I was wondering if I should just use this live sand for the DSB in the sump and get white sand for the display. Would that look better with the corals later or would the current sand be more natural and help with debris... thoughts?

Bige 12-30-2011 01:44 PM

Coming along nicely! I would paint the stand and the dry wall. Once you get everything in, it will hard to go back and fix. I know you said you weren't going for looks but I think you will be surprised how nice it will look when you are done.

mrbee2828 12-30-2011 10:34 PM

Quick update before I crash tonight. I worked on this all day today. The entire workbench / stand is now done. It's a foot longer than the previous one giving me a total of about 10 more feet. I hope to put a few frag tanks to the left in the coming year and have room to work on plumbing and coral.

I also picked up what I thought would be a great sump tank but it's a "critter" tank and I have learned through another post it's no good even 1/2 full. I also picked up some white pool filter sand which worked well in my cichlid build and I hope will do well here. I let my son have fun rinsing off the sand (which is already clean in nature of being filter sand) and filled some of the tank with water to make sure it was still sound. The super fine live sand I have with the rock now is going to be used in the future sump DSB. Tomorrow I'm removing the rest of the old kitchen cabinets and wrapping up the larger overhead storage shelf. I also hope to clean off some of the rocks and mix up some salt water for the first time :)

BTW... I decided against painting the stand because I didn't want the entire thing painted. On top of that, it would have taken hours. I did paint the wall around and behind the tank and will be painting the rest of the wall later.

NyteGTI 12-30-2011 10:59 PM

Im in for this build . Last int was great. You going to be keeping a cost log again? Also good call on white sand.. it looks so much better in the dt.

mrbee2828 12-31-2011 06:14 PM

I could keep a cost log I guess but this is SW and I'm not expecting it to be cheap hehehee. Especially since I'm going to go reef and do a frag tank later. The last build I was trying to go total DIY on it. This one is going to be 50/50 I think. I also slacked on the price for the cichlid build... I need to update that. So let's see...

  • $250 for used tank(s), 2 eheim canisters, heater, T5 light, 50lbs of LR and LS, jerry cans, salt, nets, chemicals etc
  • $50 for wood (used a lot of scraps I had)
  • $10 for sand
$310 total to date

NyteGTI 12-31-2011 06:28 PM

I was just curious, no need to keep a log lol. Have fun with this! I JUST put my first inhabitants into my nano. I started a LR cycle about 5 weeks ago. mine was uncured so it took a while for the die off to come down.

mrbee2828 01-01-2012 07:19 PM

Football Sunday today. I spent the whole day in the garage pretty much watching football and working and cleaning. The bench and shelves are all done. I have some cleaning to do as you can see. I did get Christmas into the attic towards the end of the day thank God. Anyone want to buy a 42" DLP? Great for a game room or something lol :P

I also cleaned all the rocks with my son, dipping and scrubbing off anything that didn't look good. We have a wide array of rock and coral which don't seem to have a rhyme or reason. I'm going to need a ton more, probably another 50-75lbs or so. I moved the powerhead and larger heater into the 75. This isn't a final arrangement. The goal was just to get the smaller tank empty, rock cleaned and moved.

I'm going to probably used the other 40ish gallon tank for the sump I think. Right now I have the smaller heater and canister on it to keep the sand alive until it makes it to the future sump.

mrbee2828 01-02-2012 02:47 PM

The tank is full as of noon today. I also hooked up one of the canisters after doing a massive cleaning on it until I find a breeder I can use as my sump. I'm still super bummed about the 40 critter I bought not being able to work.

mrbee2828 01-03-2012 02:21 PM

I ran by Petco today and got a new 40g for $40 on sale. Overkill? Possibly... Room for a nice refugium? Certainly... Room for an awesome skimmer in a year? HECK YES!!! Now all I need to do is sell that dang critter tank :nono:. I also swung by Fish Safari on Lynnhaven in Virginia Beach and started on the clean up crew.

Fishkeeper92 01-03-2012 02:45 PM

Fish safari is awesome, i go there all the time for whatever i need or just look around and dream of future tanks.

mrbee2828 01-04-2012 01:35 PM

I busted the garage insulation kit open at lunch today. I installed 2 panels in about 15mins. Super cake. I'm going to try to finish at least 1 door tonight. I will probably need to get some metal strips to run vertically across the panels as it doesn't tuck in real tight. I think it will fall after a few hours being open. Let's hope this will actually help. The temp dropped this week a ton and the garage is freezing. I'm waiting for Animal Jungle or Fish Safari in town to restock on Fluval E heaters so I can pick up a few. I'm planning on 2 in the tank and 1 in the sump. The 200w in there right now can't get the temp over 72 at the moment.

mrbee2828 01-05-2012 12:13 PM

I just ran up to the LFS to grab an extra heater. The one I have in there isn't doing well with the cold snap and I'm not done the door insulation yet. No more FLUVAL E series like I wanted for the sump so I just grabbed a submersible 200w Marineland. I placed on the other side of the tank for now. I can add this to the sump later. I forgot to keep the counter going with the sump tank :)

40g breeder on sale $40
200w Heater $30
$380 total to date

mrbee2828 01-05-2012 01:48 PM

I finished 1 of the doors. It only took me about 45mins to do this entire thing. The cost for the system was worth the time savings. Here is a current tank shot for the heck of it... nothing really to show off.

NyteGTI 01-05-2012 01:52 PM

How much warmer will your garage be now? you're in VA right?

mrbee2828 01-05-2012 02:11 PM

Yup, Virginia Beach to be exact. I really don't have a single clue :rofl: Once I get the garage doors done this week, I plan on insulating the exterior wall as well. It was covered in that wood paneling (above the garage in the picture) which the prior owner recycled from the living room remodel. I tore that down and threw up some left over drywall from a bathroom remodel last spring.

I didn't have the money or care to insulate it at the time, however, I didn't mud it just in case. Well, I cleaned out my attic out finally after 4 years of living here and found a few rolls of scrap insulation up in there. I'm pulling the drywall down real quick soon and stuffing that behind it... it can only help. My garage has been about 15-20 warmer than it has been outside this week. With the insulation, I'm hoping it'll be about 25-30 warmer. So for arguments sake, it was 30 the other day and the garage was hovering around 50.

I'm aware that this build may end up being a total failure. The plan is to learn about maintaining a SW tank levels where I can be messy and such. I would love to have a SW tank inside but I don't have the space or knowledge to be comfortable inside right now.

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