Jaco's 4 foot mixed reef

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by jacohall, 27 Mar 2017.

  1. jacohall

    jacohall

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    So I've been looking out for a slightly bigger tank than my old standard 4 foot tank and the opportunity to redo some of the things I didn't like about my first tank.

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    Here's a pic of my current tank still running. Couple of things I didn't like, but didn't know any better at the time:
    1. The overflow box in the corner is pretty ugly.
    2. It was only viewable from 2 sides.
    3. The whole cupboard vibe got old quickly and is a bit bulky. (And I never finished it properly)
    4. I would like an area in my stand to have the plugs separate and not exposed to the moisture in the sump area.

    So today I got an amazing gumtree deal! Not much bigger 120x50x50, made from 10mm glass. Bought it for R500!! 1 or 2 small scratches but will see if it's possible to polish them out. Here's a pic of the tank when I got it this afternoon.

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    Cleaned it up a bit this evening and took the broken bracing off. Planning on replacing the side panel with the holes drilled.

    [​IMG]

    Then I need to start building a stand. Not sure if I want to do wood or metal stand.

    So I need some opinions from the MASA community.

    1. What kind of overflow would you suggest? Centre or corner? Box or skinny? Drilled in back or bottom?
    2. Stand made of wood or metal? Which one is cheaper? (I can do woodwork but not weld)
    3. Would you suggest eurobracing or would I be able to keep it rimless?
     
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  3. Forbes

    Forbes

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    My suggestion, is coast to coast skinny overflow with outlets at the bottom, that way you get the most real estate in the tank, without stuff sticking into the tank which looks unnatural, and the tank can be placed closer to the wall than with rear mounted outlets.
    I have a steel stand with wood cladding that could be modified very easily to suit that size tank if you are interested, you can see my post.
     
  4. Jaun_marine

    Jaun_marine

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    I will do a corner overflow drilled at bottom.
    My wooden stand for my 1 meters tank was around R2000.:whistling:
    Don't know abou the bracing though...
     
  5. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    Would I be able to build the skinny overflow from black Perspex or is glass recommended? And then covered with Perspex? A coast to coast is another massive sheet of glass or Perspex. Would a 40cm section be sufficient?
     
  6. Forbes

    Forbes

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    For a skinny overflow, I am using 12mm glass and I am going to use black silicone on the overflow side to block out the vision, it is cheaper than using a Perspex sheet. The other problem with Perspex is that it doesn't stick to silicone that well.
    As you already have bracing on the tank, you could probable go for 8mm or 10mm glass and split the overflow in two with a spacer strip of glass to break the span of the overflow panel.
    If your 40mm is the space between the back glass and the overflow, you could cut that down to between 12mm and 20mm depending on the flow rate you want. You need to make provision for the return flow as well. I am putting my return flows up the front corners of the tank, that way I can direct the flow onto the corals etc. in the viewing area and not at the back of the tank where there is no benefit of the flow.
     
  7. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    I actually meant having the skinny overflow not coast to coast, only 40 or 50 cm? Or is it not gonna be sufficient? Then have it 20mm from back panel?
     
  8. Forbes

    Forbes

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    The only reason I am suggesting a coast to coast overflow is because you avoid the step in the back panel which makes it look unnatural.
    You can have a narrower overflow no problem, but remember that the narrower the overflow, the higher the head of water will be that flows over it.
    If you don't want a full width overflow, you need to start with what flow rate you want into the sump, and then play with the overflow width until you have a head height that is not going to suck fish into the sump.
     
  9. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    I need some opinions and advice. I can get this stand for R600. It's a 2m stand, but can modify it and make shorter. It's pretty rusted though. Is it worth the effort for that price. I have no idea what metal stands go for or what it would cost to get made. Or whether a wooden stand would be easier.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Forbes

    Forbes

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    I doubt if you will buy the material for that, but as you said you can't weld you will have to pay someone to do that for you. I suggest you get a price from someone who can both modify and build you a new stand and compare prices and then decide. I don't know what area you are in, but there are guys that hang around the hardware shops that offer welding services, so it may be an idea trying one of them, as long as you can supervise and make sure they do what you want.
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2017
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    you can get is sandblasted. The money you pay for the blasting is far less than the manual labor to sand down the stand.
     
  12. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    Quickly little update, so I got someone else to finish building the tank and build a metal stand for me. Just don't have the time and space to really get to it. But started with my lighting mods yesterday. Gonna be hanging it over my tank. Tank will be rimless with a centre overflow. I am back and forth with going bare bottom. Wondering whether I should maybe go just very shallow sand bed maybe, just for the look.

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    Will put on the LED's once the tank arrives and have it set up. Will be a quick swop.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2017
  13. JS

    JS

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    Very shallow sand bed....bare bottom looks so unfinished Or if you want....silicone white perspex in on bottom....that would look awesome....but bare glass....no no...
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2017
  14. JS

    JS

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    Are you going to add reflectors to t5s?
     
  15. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    I want to. They flippen expensive to buy proper ones. Any ideas I diy reflectors? Will mirror work? I can maybe build something out of that.
     
  16. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Cheapest diy reflectors I've seen are white PVC piping cut in half lengthways or tin foil. @RiaanP might have done some testing on this I think?
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2017
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  17. JS

    JS

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    Yeah PVC pipe/gutters and aluminium tape from builders....what wattage t5s are they? I might have two reflectors for you...
     
  18. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    They are 54w. Otherwise I might try something like this. I saw some using the smaller pvc, but seems like it just reflects everything back onto the bulb, which defeats some of the purpose of having them. From what I've read, the reflectors purpose is to also deflect the heat by not aiming light back onto the bulb.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. JS

    JS

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    Cool your in luck i have two proper reflectors for you....youll just need two clean them up a bit, been gathering dust etc in storage.....but the will work perfect.
     
  20. OP
    jacohall

    jacohall

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    You are a legend!! Thanks so much man! Will be in PE next weekend, will grab from you then. Will PM you!
     
  21. JS

    JS

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    Shot.
     

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