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A stand came with the 75g tank that I purchased and I knew immediately it would need to be painted.

During the process of getting started I acquired a 29 gallon tank to use as a quarantine tank. Of course, I decide that the 29g tank would make a better sump than the 20g tank that came with the 75g tank and stand and the 20g that was originally a sump would make a fine quarantine tank.

This lead to the need for stand modifications, specifically, height. The stand also did not have a floor originally.

The stand now has an additional 3 1/4" inches of height for the sump, is 4 1/2" taller overall, and has a floor.

Oh...and it's black





RO/DI system installed and running:


4 gallons through and thrown out.

The tubing will be cleaned up after I get (and install) my in-line TDS meter.

To Do:

Painting aquarium frame (black to match stand)

TDS - in-line system ordered, waiting for arrival

Skimmer - Octopus NW-150 ordered, waiting for arrival

Lights - ATI SunPower 6x54 ordered, waiting for backorder...3+ weeks

Sump - baffles cut, ready to install. Waiting for Skimmer arrival for sizing

Plumbing - redo to split drain for a center return sump

Still to order/buy:


Test kits

Live Rock

Live Sand

Sump light (refugium)

Additional heater

Quarantine equipment (other than tank)

1,000 other things I can't think of at the moment

(Edit: thought of something)

Powerheads - probably a pair of Hydor Koralia 3s, though I may start with one and see how the flow is with it and the return pump.

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Stand looks great! Keep up the good work, and patience, and it will all pay off. Keep a look out on here and I am sure that you will find some good deals on the things that you still need to get.

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At this point I'm not sure what I'm looking for in the refugium light...something small. :)

I got the Octopus skimmer from Aqua Cave.

At this point I'm not thrilled with their customer service. I ordered on the 14th, got an order confirmation on the 16th and heard nothing else. I checked their website for a tracking number and it said one hadn't been assigned yet. I sent an email on the morning of the 20th. Never heard anything back. I finally called this morning and they said that they had run out and were drop shipping directly from the distributor. I'd probably get the skimmer before they got the tracking number to forward to me. Of course...they could have said that in response to the email on Friday. Or maybe sent out a notice sometime during the week prior to that.

That said, I'm not in a hurry, so if it gets here this week and is in good shape I'll be happy.

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The protein skimmer (finally!) arrived. I can now figure out where to put the baffles

The tank is a 29g, 30x12x19

Baffles are 12x11 3/4 (3) and 14x11 3/4

Start off by putting stuff in the sump to get measurements.

Mark where I want the baffles to be:


Another shot of the marks with an empty tank:


(at this point I wiped down the inside of the tank with a ro/di-vinegar solution and let it dry.)

Tape off the marks for a couple of the baffles for clean silicone lines:


Also tape off the baffle, again for clean lines:


Wipe down the glass where the silicone will go with isopropyl alcohol.

Ready to silicone in the first baffle, right?


Because some idiot (me!) bought aquarium safe, non-clear silicone!


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Do you know a local source for clear silicone that can be used in aquariums? Most of the clear silicone tubes I've found at the local hardware big boxes say it should not be used in continuous contact with water (or something like that). I ended up with the aquarium safe, non-clear silicone from the LFS. But, I really wanted clear.

I like your photos.

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Got the right silicone today at AquaTek, so here we go:

The first baffle is 14x11 3/4 and is the baffle for the refugium:


The second baffle in is the raised baffle in the bubble trap.

It's a little hard to see, but it's raised 1 inch by a couple of pieces of folded cardboard


Here are the first two baffles after the tape to make for better silicone lines is removed.

Learned a slight lesson to remove that tape as early as possible, before the silicone starts to dry.


Here's a view after the tape is completely removed from the first two baffles and the tape is laid down for the last two


Now, all four baffles are in. Here are a couple of views:



I'm going to let it dry for 48 hours and then leak test...and cross my fingers.

On a side note...crap that silicone stinks!!! willy_nilly.gif

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After some final calculations, I decided my original stand just wasn't going to cut it. Not enough access underneath for the sump size I chose.


Based on plans found here:


I began a new stand today.


It's 48 1/2" x 18 1/2" x 34" and with a couple of large doors will have much more room underneath.

Need to skin it (1/2" plywood), drop in the floor (1/2" plywood again), put some trim on, prime, paint and figure out what I'm going to do for doors.

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If you really want great sump access, get mdavis or prof to build you a skin for the stand. Mine looks like the stand, but it only has 3 sides, so I can slide it away from the stand and have no doors to reach through, etc.

Basically, once you pull it away, you'd see just your stand - like in the pics above. The best part if you can't tell that it is just a skin when you look at it from the outside.

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We made something similar to what azcummins is talking about. The two front doors on our stand come completely off and when on, stay secured with magnets bought at home depot. We haven't had the need to get into the sump area from the sides, but it may be beneficial to have the side skins removable as well. Good luck!

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Skinned it, added trim and filled the holes and seams. Primer tomorrow (I hope).


If you're ever going to do this yourself I highly recommend you get access to a miter saw and a finishing nailer. Man does this make the job much easier!

Home Depot rents both. I bought a small miter saw, but rented a cordless finishing nailer. Fun toy!

I saw the comments about the removable skin. It's a good idea for access, but I get paranoid that the 2x4s will twist and fail. The skin adds to the support. Probably not needed, but overengineering makes me feel better. ;)

The access hole on the front (and back...I'm not covering that) is 38 1/2" (w) by 28" (h). With the sump sitting 1 3/4" below the bottom of the door I'll have over 10" of headroom for access above the top of the sump. Much better than the 3" I would have had if I'd used the old stand.

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  • 2 months later...

This project was to simplify fresh and salt water mixing and delivery.

First, the parts:


Dry fit:


An "inside" view:




Final setup:


A little documentation of how it works:

Ball valves are 1-4. 1 is at the top, 2-4 are left to right on the second row, as pictured. There's a Mag 9.5 in each trashcan.

1 & 4 open, 3 closed (pictured): Deliver RO/DI water through the hose via RO/DI pump

1, 2 & 3 open, 4 closed: Deliver saltwater through the hose via Saltwater pump

3 closed and 2 open (also pictured): Mix saltwater via Saltwater pump

1 closed, 2, 3 & 4 open: Deliver RO/DI water to the saltwater trashcan via RO/DI pump

Also notice that with 1, 2 and 4 open and 3 closed I can mix saltwater and deliver freshwater via the hose if I turn on both pumps.

One thing I need to do is an external fill indicator on the saltwater can for filling. For now I have to lift the lid to peek until it hits my mark.

I also have a 4 switch power strip ordered that will let me leave everything plugged in and just flip switches to turn on the appropriate pumps, rather than plugging and unplugging the pumps.

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Very nice! I did something very similar for mixing saltwater (even have the same green trash can on wheels). I don't have a separate can for my RODI, I just make it up in a 5 gallon bucket and then pour it into my mixing bucket.

I tell you it makes mixing and filling the tank super easy (in fact, I have water mixing now for a water change tonight).

The one thing I have found it useful is some type of rigid plastic to keep the water delivery hose firmly attached to the tank. I just used a clear rigid "U" tube, and snaked my flexible water delivery tube through that.

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  • 7 months later...

Contraption v1.0 was successful, but had a few faults/limitations that I wanted to get past. Contraption v2.0 wasn't going to happen so soon, but some unknown contaminant in Contraption v1.0 made me decide between cleaning v1.0 or creating v2.0.

I had already generated some ideas, including improved plumbing, ATO storage, and management.

I just needed storage tanks that would fit the bill. I found these. A bit larger than I need right now, but...bigger is better, right?


A few parts ordered from BRS...a bunch of trips to Home Depot and some manual labor and I should have the next generation created soon...I hope.


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