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Ryans 90g Envison Build


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Its time! My 36g bowfront is at max capacity!!! I ordered a 90g Envison tank with external overflow last week to replace it. I'll be picking it up sometime next week! I have been planning this tank for some time, Im VERY to finally excited to get started on it!!!


I probably will not have salt water in it until the beginning of the year, but will be accumulating and building parts for it in the mean time. I'll be documenting my progress over the next couple of months in this thread.



-Must be nearly silent! I hate the gurgle noise my 36g overflow makes, so I will be using the "Herbie" style overflow.


-Must not use an insane amount of electricity, so I will be using T5's which will hopefully allow me to not use my chiller.


-Must be KISS!



Display: 42x27x21 Envision tank w/ external overflow

Sump: 28.5x19x16.5 made entirely of 1/2" acrylic. Acrylic cut by Envison, assembled and routed by me

Skimmer: RoyalReef CS200 Cone Skimmer

Return Pump: ATB Flowstar 1500 (based on Askoll 1500)

Flow: (2) 3/4" DIY Sea-Swirl returns & (2) Vortech MP20's (will upgrade to MP40 drivers if I need more flow)

Lighting: (8) 36" ATI T5 bulbs, (8) Aquaillumination Reflectors, (2) Icecap 660 Ballasts

Media Reactor: DIY 12"x4" dual chamber for BRS GFO & Carbon

Cal/Alk: (2) Parastlic pumps controlled by AquaController & BRS chemicals

Cooling: (4) 120mm 12V fans (quietest ones I can find) controlled by AquaController. Will keep Chiller around just in case...

Auto Top Off: autotopoff.com solenoid connected to RO/DI unit, controlled by (2) float valves & Aquacontroller

Plumbing All Schedule 80, Hayward Bulk Heads, Spears 1.5" Gate Valve, Lots of unions to make plumbing easily removable

Stand: Steel powder coated stand built by Spectra, removable dark wood skin for easy access to equipment.

Controller: Neptune AquaController III w/DC8

Rock: 75lb of BRS Reef Saver Rock

Sand 1" of CaribSea Aragonite Special Grade


SketchUp Drawings:










All Together:





(neck cracked in shipping, RoyalReef is sending me a new one)


More to come....

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Not a lot of progress yet...I'm still anxiously awaiting to pick up my tank! In the mean time I decided to get started on the DIY Sea-Swirls.


I started out with a 3/4" Span Coupling:





I cut them down to size:



I am actually going with a "hybrid" span coupling. I bought couplings from Home Depot, Lowes, & A-Boy plumbing because they all sell a different brand that are slightly different.


I settled on a combination of the Lows lower housing and A-Boy upper tube. The A-boy upper tube is the same diameter all the up and down (1") whereas the Lowes & Home Depot upper tube start at 1" then step out to 1.13". Since the upper tube will eventually be cut down to fit in the outer housing, it will make it much easier to plumb with a standard off-the-shelf 3/4" PVC fitting will fit right onto the upper tube without having to machine it down. I also prefer the o-rings on the A-Boy upper tube.


I chose the Lowes lower hosing because the A-Boy upper tube rotates silky smooth in it & very ease (while still maintaining a strong seal) which is good, cause the motors I'm going to use do not have a ton of torque.


Lowes/Home Depot upper tube (top), A-Boy upper tube (Bottom):



Differences in O-rings Lowes (left), A-Boy (right):



They will be powered by synchronous gear motors:







I actually had to re-order the motors. I meant to order 2.5 RPM motors, but they were actually 2.5 RPH (as in rotations per hour!!!). I ended up going with 3 RPM motors. As soon as the new motors get here I will be finishing up the design of the outer housing and cutting the parts on the laser cutter.


To be continued....

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I'll be watching this one. I would like to put 2 maybe 4 into the new tank but can't swing the price for the real deal...



They will be really nice when they are done. Im not necessarily making them to save money, I am making them because I think I can make them better, smaller, and more reliable then the real sea-swirls.


I got my new motors today! I am very happy with them. They have a larger shaft (.25" vs. .125"), and are much shorter (.95" tall vs. 1.32" tall). They are also DEAD SILENT!!! You cannot hear them until you press them against your ear! They also have a lot more torque then the other ones. They were a bit more in price, but still very reasonable!












I'll be heading over to Envision at 2pm to take some pics of my tank!!! It wont be ready for pickup until tomorrow, but I am to excited to wait to see it. Unfortunately, I work all day tomorrow, so I wont be able to pick it up until Monday. :-(


Pics of the tank coming by the end of the day :-)

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I stopped by Envision to take some pics of my tank! James did an amazing job! The seams are perfect, as expected!!!!


He just has to polish the edges, and it will read for pickup.


Again, this is 42x27x21:

















If you are in the market for a new tank, I HIGHLY recommend contacting James at Envision. The price will be much better then you expect, and you will be getting a TOP NOTCH tank!

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im with garrett on this one, once im in a permanent location and have the money to spend on a super nice tank, im getting my tank built by envision as well, either that or buying the acrylic and building it myself, one of the 2, still not quite sure yet lol


ryan, that is one sweet tank, i cant wait to see it set up man, great job on it man, simply great

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Whare did ya order the motors for your DIY sea swirl?


I got the motors from http://www.mcmaster.com/#


They are Synchronous Gearmotors. The specific one I bought is part #: 3867K7. They are $22


The original motors I bought were from https://www.surpluscenter.com/. Even though they are much cheaper at $5.99, they are much noisier and do not seem as heavy duty.


I'll hopefully get a lot done on the Sea-Swirls today!

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1 RPM is very slow, slower then I want. I perfer a more chaotic and random flow. If you look through swirlstine thread on RC you can find videos of just about every RPM motor up to 5rpm. Most people who bought the 1 & 2 RPM motors ended up switching to at least the 3rpm. 3rpm is by no means fast though...its 1 revolution ever 20 seconds.

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Well...I picked my tank and sump pieces up today! Everything looks GREAT!


I started assembling my sump as well today... This is BY FAR the largest acrylic project I have ever done, and the first time I have done anything with 1/2". As expensive as it is, its a bit nerve racking working with it.


Here is what I designed in SketchUp:



It's made entirely out of 1/2" Cell Cast Acrylic. It consists of the following parts:


-28.75"x19" (1) Bottom

-28.75"x16" (2) Front & Back

-18"X16" (2) Sides

-18"x8" (1) Baffle 1

-18'x15" (1) Baffle 2

-18"x10" (1) Baffle 3


I had James at Envision cut the pieces for me, as I had no means to do so.


Here is what I started with:



At James recommendation, I used stripped down twist ties instead of T-pins:





Laying the first cement seam:








(then hang over will be routed flush with a flushing bit)




It was a bit tricky, and I have nothing buy respect for James after staring this project. Laying the cement was a cinch, but pulling the pins was very difficult. I don't know if I didn't wait long enough or what, but I nearly pulled the two pieces apart when I pulled the pins. After 5 seams, I still haven't figured it out.


The Baffles:











The baffles were a pain because they were so close together (1" between each one). I actually accidentally smudged the center baffle with cement pretty good when I was pulling up the tape. Luckily it wont be visible when the sump is running.


The finial side:



The sides and baffles cemented to the back panel:



I am going to let it harden for 24 hours before I cement the front panel on. After the front panel hardens for 24 hours I'll cement the whole thing down to the bottom panel.

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Very nice work. I like to see progress shots like this and its great to have some explanations to go along with them. I have always thought about trying to do a build like this but I just don't have the guts :)


Good job thus far!



Thanks, Garrett!


I have been dreaming, planning, and re-planning this build for months, so it feels great to finally get started on it!


I just pulled the backing up on the back panel to take a look at the seams. The side piece seams are crystal clear, and the baffle seams have a few small bubbles here and there...


Guess I'll have to scrap the whole thing.... DOH!


Just Kidding...Im am actually very pleased with how they turned out so far. It actually looks a lot better then most acrylic tanks I see out there....EXCLUDING ENVISION!!!!


Heres a few pieces I cut yesterday for the mock up/test fit on my DIY Sea-Swirls:




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Looks good, I've done a little acrylic work but have just seen (yours/RC) using the pins...question.. do you only use the pins on the larger sizes 1/2 or on 1/4 also, what glue did you use I'm using the glue from Tap with the applicator #4 I think, I did the same with the pieces setting right on them and works OK but you have to watch for gaps or you get a bad joint (bubbles). I'll get one perfect seam then the next sucks I now use a piece of paper to check and then shim to make sure their touching. Is the plastic from Tap OK, I know they have different grades


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Any reason why you placed the pins on the inside of the workpiece (for the two sides)? I have always placed them on the outside and it seems like it would be a pain to try and pull them on the inside and not damage anything on their way out. How long did you wait before pulling the pins?

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Any reason why you placed the pins on the inside of the workpiece (for the two sides)? I have always placed them on the outside and it seems like it would be a pain to try and pull them on the inside and not damage anything on their way out. How long did you wait before pulling the pins?


I had plenty of room to pull the pins....I placed them on the inside so I would have more room to work when laying the cement. I also wanted the the side pieces to be right up against the tape so I would know it was straight and to prevent cement from running.

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Well...I finished all of the seams on the sump. I am pleased with how it turned out. The seams look pretty good overall (not Envision seams of coarse), and its pretty square considering I built it on a kitchen table!


I used wooden dowels cut to the appropriate length to ensure all of the panels were square:



Getting ready to cement the first seam on the back panel:



The center baffle was a bit tricky. I ended up modifying one of my hypodermic needles to get the job done. I bough a piece of 1/16"x0.14" aluminum tubing from the hobby shop, then replaced the existing hypo needle with it to reach in between the baffles. I used a small torch to heat the end of the new tubbing up, then heated the plastic tip of the bottle up a bit and pressed the tubing through. It worked like a charm!






1" pieces of wooden dowel in between the baffles to ensure the spacing is right:





Front, back, sides, & saffles all cemented together:



The front, back, sides, & baffles sitting on the the base piece with pins:



I couldn't resist pulling the backing off of the front to take a peek:



With the skimmer (believe it or not, the skimmer is quite large, but so is the sump!)



I still have to route the edges flush, and bevel all of the edges, but overall It turned out really nice. Im glad I took on this sump project to gain experience with thicker material. I'll will have no hesitation now building sumps, frag tanks, etc...I'll leave the displays to James though!!!

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