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Tank Build Thread





Found 12 results

  1. I'm not sure if there is already a thread like this but I wanted to put together some builds and repairs I've done using a 3d printer and share the 3d models with others as well as a place for others to share their ideas with one another.
  2. First off, I would like to start off by thanking PowderBlue, WingRider62 and Garrett from TPA. I wouldn't have been able to do this without you guys. Today I finally finished setting up my 60 gallon lagoon and connecting it to my main display. ...but where did this all start? About a month ago, I came across WingRider62's 6 bulb T5 fixture on the forum and decided the deal was too sweet that I had to grab it. On the way north, I stopped by TPA and they had this tank sitting in the back of the store. I knew it would fit the light, so I grabbed it too. I got back home and unloaded them, but they sat in my garage for a couple weeks because I didn't have a stand. I saw Powderblue selling his stand and sump, but couldn't pick it up during the week because of work and finals. with the sump below the aquarium: Right after my finals finished, I left the testing room and began drawing my plumbing plans....on the back of my final. I knew I couldn't get the old sump out from below the 75, so I decided to re-implement it as an auto top-off reservoir as shown below. I went and ordered all the pieces online and began to wait. After failing and wasting too many materials in my life, I finally...FINALLY realized what separates the men from the boys and it's measuring. So, I went and re-drew everything to scale on multiple pieces of cardboard. This: ...became this: The refugium was going to be below the tank and I didn't want it to shine through at night, so when some PVC was drying, I added some aquarium backdrop to the bottom of the aquarium. Outside of the aquarium is blue and inside is black. I had to size everything up, so two nights ago, the living room looked like this (if you look closely there is actually a toothbrush on the ground). I was sizing up a lot of the larger pieces before I glued them. I knew even with measuring, nothing was going to fit snugly. Zip ties were key. Before I had everything on the lagoon completely glued, I went and painted some of the PVC black because I didn't want the white to distract. Once all the plumbing was done for the lagoon, I had to begin plumbing the display. I screwed up when I originally designed the overflow and had to cut it to implement to new plumbing. Here is what it looked like: Once I cut the display overflow, the clock was ticking. It no longer had a sump and a lot of the equipment had to be temporarily moved around. Eventually, I sized everything up, but the worse part was I realized I didn't have enough water to supply my new tank and sump, so there was a lot of waiting. People! Make extra water! Anyhow...I had a lot of time to clean out my old sump while I waited. Here is what it looks like now. It is going to be used as an auto top-off reservoir. I was also getting sick of remaking my two part calcium and alkalinity solutions every couple months, so I upgraded to 5 gallon containers. Everything eventually came online. Being in a rental home, it would be the end of me if all the water spilled, but I fearfully went to bed. I had known that there is always minor leaks, so I threw some towels down around the tanks. When I woke up this morning, I sprinted over to my aquarium to find everything ALIVE! A couple towels were wet, but nothing I couldn't clean up. Here is what it looked like after I transferred some of the coral. Now for the part that was the most complicated. The main sump. P.S. Zip ties are still attached for safety reasons. Let me dissect this monstrosity. On the left, we have the return pump, going to a a 1 inch true union check valve and then a four-way junction. On the four-way is a 1" return to the main display, 3/4" return to the frag tank (with gate valves) and currently a screw-on cap. Eventually, I plan to route this junction straight through the wall behind the tanks and into the garage. It would give me the opportunity to have water change reservoirs out of sight from the public and have easy access for disposal. It's not happening anytime soon, but I hope that in the future I will never have to lift another bucket. On the right, is the drains (and emergency) from the tanks, skimmer, heaters and refugium. I was so pissed off that I glued that gate valve at an angle, but if that's the worse of my problems. Who cares. Although, that refugium light did fall into my tank early this morning and I immediately pulled on the cord to get it out. The light never went off, nor did the power bar or breaker, so I unplugged it and let it dry. Once dry, I plugged the bulb in, but couldn't remember if I left it on or off...it started making a slight buzzing noise, so I assumed it was on. I tried turning it "off" but that was really on and the thing exploded. No light bulb in sight, half the fixture was gone and this time the breaker blew. Luckily, I had an extra lying around. People, before you build a tank, do these things: 1. Keep the power off, until everything is in place. I learned that the hard way. 2. Make enough water before you start. Count on leaks and count on overshooting your guesstimate. It never hurts to make extra. 3. I had to cut a couple bulk heads because they were either damaged, too small, or had silt in them. Be careful with them because you often don't have any to spare. 4. PVC is made to fit only a certain size. Build it at the store, bring it home with a couple pieces in excess. When it is 3 am and you need a 1" to 3/4" adapter because something is leaking...ya, just buy extras and return them as needed. Home depot is cool like that. All in all, this is what the tanks looked like late tonight. They are operational, with a few minor things to come. You'll just have to wait and see.
  3. So the bulb went out on the little cube that I picked up recently, and i'm at a crossroads of where I want to go with this tank lighting wise. I would like to start with high end zoas, and add sps down the line although that's a ways away as the tank was just established, and I'm monitoring fluctuation as I'm going basics with this tank. (carbon, filter floss, water changes) I really like the hood that's on it currently because it reduces evaporation to almost nothing which is a big deal on a 6 gal tank. So if I do switch out the light it would be best case scenario for it to fit in the current enclosure. The new jbj cubes did upgrade the light they came with to an LED but I'm just not convinced that it will put off the par I'm looking for with going through an upgrade. This is the current bulb that is in the tank. https://www.amazon.com/LSE-Lighting-PL-L18W-TUV-Ultraviolet/dp/B00BRMVEEQ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2_sspa?keywords=pl-18w+10000k&qid=1557845826&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull-spons&psc=1 There are also 2 LED diodes that are blue so its very washed out with whites. If I removed the current lighting components I would be working with a space that is 9.5" wide and 5" tall. The lid has a curve to it so the depth in the middle is 1.75" and tapers down to 1" towards the back of the tank. The tank has a depth of about 11" for the light to penetrate. So I guess what im getting at here is do I replace the current light that I have with a new light? Or do I supplement with more blues, and if this answer whats the best option for that? On of the reasons I am for replacing the light entirely is that I really like the idea of both spectrum being on a controller. Thanks for your input,
  4. Before I spend a ton on materials for the next build, I want to see if anyone is aware of any large acrylic tanks that are used and/or reasonably priced? Leaks, scratches, seams, repairs needed etc.. are no problem, my son and I like to restore tanks anyway looking for 8x4 or larger (any size with 48” or more width). No need for a show tank. Cash in hand.
  5. Has anybody on here ever grown there own phytoplankton before? I just built a phytoplankton growing station and I've got everything all ready except I'm not sure what to use as fertilizer, I keep seeing something named f/2 which is a specific for marine algae fertilizer. I also see people using miracle grow, not something I would do personally as I don't know the exact ingredients, but some reefers on forums say it's bad because of heavy metals, mainly copper. While doing research I found two separate formulas for the f/2 fertilizer that everyone says to use and both contain copper sulfate?!? That to me seems like that last thing I'd want to put in my tank.... with that being said, anyone know of something different to use as the fertilizer? I was almost thinking of trying a mix of potassium nitrate and some other stuff that would be already used to dose tanks with. I'll attach the formula for the fertilizer that everyone seems to be suggesting to use. f_2_medium.pdf
  6. So I'm planning on using a bluefish mini WiFi controller with the mean well ldd-h drivers for my 180 build. The highest amperage driver they have is a 1500mA one. And I'd need more like 4500mA for the Royal blue channel alone. So my main question is, can you run more than one ldd-h driver off of one pwm channel signal so I can get a total of 4500mA, the outputs of the drivers won't be connected in anyway. I tried to draw a basic of what I want to do.
  7. Decided to build my own calcium reactor after doing alot of research on them and ended up with this.I was looking a for a good cost effective build and I really liked the look and simplicity of Geo's reef reactors, but for the size I needed, the price was a bit high, especially since they only came with a.c. pumps. So this one will be able to handle systems up to 300 gallons plus another hundred if a secondary reaction chamber is added onto it. My total cost for everything, including tools and solvent cements was $127.89. (Seems like a pretty good price for a D.C. Calc. Reactor)
  8. I'm the living embodiment of a DIYer (chicken coop✅, playground ✅, keeping the house from falling down ✅). I've been really inspired by all the stories on this site and others to take on a new tank setup from the ground up. So I'm looking for a tank that is at least 60 gal (I'm not stuck on this size and am curious about everyone's thoughts on an ideal size) to begin. I'd also love to hear recommendations (and horror stories) that might help guide this spring/summer project. My goal is to build the stand to fit the tank and then add all the equipment and plumbing (slowly since my money tree died). This will be my first foray into sump land. I've used every other type of filter out of fear of all the components involved in a sump, so I'm going to try and overcome that fear. Thanks for being a great resource and creating such a robust community.
  9. Why A Peristaltic Pump? This is covered in great detail on the internet. In summary: ○ More reliable consistent flow Read more about the official MasterFlex Calcium Reactor thread here. They are spendy, 200-400 dollars. And they are awesome. (hint, if you can spare the reef $$, stop reading this and go get one!) http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2368618 For me personally? I needed to babysit some SPS. I knew that my CR flow would dip and sometimes clog. Rather than risk someone else's coral I decided to step up the game a little. Check out my flow before and after: BEFORE AFTER: Why A DIY Peristaltic Pump? The primary reason is simply to save money. By saving money, you might be able to have a spare on hand. For me, I try to have 2 of anything critical because reef stores are not open 24/7 and Amazon cannot ship fast enough to save your coral if things go wrong. Building One - Parts Pump and Motor - $30 The pump and motor itself. Search ebay for 'large peristaltic' and you will find this one: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1312.R1.TR4.TRC0.A0.H0.XLarge+peri.TRS1&_nkw=large+peristaltic&_sacat=0 Pumps come and go. It is nice to have one with: § At least two rollers (anti siphon) § Stainless steel bearings (not a plastic, noisy pump) This setup requires a brushed DC 12v motor so that it can be PWM controlled. A better setup would be a stepper motor based motor and controller. Future? Motor Speed Controller - $11 You want a PWM speed controller. This controls the speed so the flow can be dialed in. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVGGWC0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Note: There are tons of cool options here. Web controlled, LED speed display etc. I did find though that certain PWMs cause the motor to overheat so you may need to experiment if deviating from this one. Power Supply - $6.50 12volt 2 amp power supply with a wiring adapter. Here is one on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Switching-100-240V-Connector-Security/dp/B06XPF9NPL/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1507776121&sr=8-14&keywords=12V+2A+Power+Supply It is better to find one that is UL Listed. Once you are past the power supply though, everything is low voltage. The wiring adapter is key (the green thing in the pic). It makes taking power from the adapter simple, just turning a couple of screws. Wire - Free to $16 If you have any kind of wire laying around that is 16 gauge or bigger, feel free to repurpose it. Some wiring connectors such as 2 spade connectors can be soldered onto the back of the motor or possibly crimp Building One - Assembly Wiring The wiring is very basic and covered with the PWM controller documentation. Basically the power goes from the power adapter, to the PWM controller, to the motor. Everything is labelled, it is super easy. The hardest part is attaching the wires to the motor. You can use a variety of methods, but a crimp on spade connector can work. Be sure to use the right gauge wire. I used 16 gauge because I had some from other projects. It's nice to use 2 different colors, pick one such as red for positive, black for ground and be consistent. Boxing There are allot of options. Mine is stuffed into a double gang electrical box ($2). I just drilled some holes and routed wires. Here is the inside For more details etc check out this thread: The results are detailed in another thread: Special Considerations: Tubing wears out and fails, you need to place the pump in a location such that if this happens, water will drain into the tank instead of onto the floor! Ideally monitor the flow with the APEX flow monitoring kit 1/4" adapter. That way when the tubing goes you can quickly replace it. Sound! This is a pretty quiet pump, but it is not as quiet as an MJ sitting underwater in the sump. So keep that in mind... Super Important: Don't turn down the pump so low that it does not run smoothly. That will overheat the motor as it is basically starting up from stopped several times per second. The pump should run smooth with no visible lurching...
  10. Man, it would be nice. Especially now that APEX showed me how wildly the flow varies off of my MJ1200 feed pump. Flow is in liters per hour. That means I have been ranging from 56 mls/min to 98 mls / minute. I do have to think it would be much more consistent with the peristaltic... Going to be looking for some cheap options as my reef budget will not allow for a good one at this point (400 dollars...)!
  11. I'm interested in setting up a 10g sump under my 29g tank and need some last minute feedback. My main goal since space is so limited is to have a refugium and a filter sock. I doubt I'll have a skimmer as I aim to have a small bioload. How does this look?
  12. Spent the past 2 months setting up and prepping the new tank. Just moved here and once the boxes were unpacked water started filling the tank. Consist of a 40gal breeder, 20gal DIY sump, DIY aqua lifter ATO, 2 550 media reactors, and a LED DIY lighting setup consisting of rapid leds with controller. I plan on sticking to mostly softies, montis, and zoas, Plan on stocking it this week with a clean up crew and maybe a clown pair.
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