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les

DIY Freak
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
126
Location
Kennewick WA
After much thought and planning, I started cutting acrylic for my new tank. Despite all the laying out and drafting I did on this thing, after making the first cut on the acrylic I tossed out the original idea.
When first planning this project, I wanted a large flat back hex, the one I had in mind was about 275 gallons. I ordered acrylic for the project and started making the first cuts when I realized I had no way to clamp the angled front panel. What I ended up with was a tank that is 96" x 44" x 24" deep.
The concept I have is to install this in my dining room, it will be a see through tank into the study.
I am now working on the cabninet for this, there is no real stand. It will be set on beams/plywood and then the weight carried on down to the the ground with posts that are set on concrete pads. The cabinet consists of "face frame" construction with raised panel doors. I am using Alder do to the the cost, 1.75 board foot, versus 7 for oak.
As you will see from the pics, I decided on a "coast-to-coast" style overflow.
One end of the tank will overflow to the sump/fuge, the other will feed the closed loop pump. (Dolphin Ampmaster 7500) The Dolphin 7500 will have a motorized ball valve that changes flow direction within the tank, it will alternate the opposed side bottom spray bar with the topside tank jet.

Since these pics were taken, I have finished the tank construction and started on the cabinet. My goal is to have this installed and complete, including the move from the old 175, in time for the big Aug meeting and local tank tour.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Hey Les that going to be one sweet tank. Oh and I have a little present for ya to, lol
Got a couple of questions for ya. What have you done on the bottom of the tank?? its hard to tell from the pictures. why is thier a black band on the bottom?? how is that put together.

the other is on the closed loop. Are you saying the drain line for the closed loop is being drwan from the overflow??


take care'''Mike
 

les

DIY Freak
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
126
Location
Kennewick WA
Hey Mike,
As for the present, I just hope Ed remembers to grab it.
The banding around the tank is just that. I ripped 1/2 black acrylic 2" wide for the bottom banding, and then boxed in the corners. I don't want to see into the overflows from my dining room. The bottom banding was something I did on my old tank to cover the plenum. This tank will not have a plenum in it, though I like the looks of the banding. As far as I've seen, these are the only tanks that have it, I think it really dresses it up.
The closed loop will draw from one overflow, the sump feed from the other. I did this to minimize the number of exposed plumbing parts in the tank itself. I do think however I will need to add some drain area to the closed loop overflow. I will try it out in my shop before I ever bring it in the house.
 

les

DIY Freak
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
126
Location
Kennewick WA
Mike,
Here is a little better pic of the tank undergoing the leak test. You can see the bottom edge banding much better. When I get someone out here to take some more pics, I'll post some if the tank completed.

Les
 

Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,955
Location
Kennewick, Wa
Ok, I hear ya..lmao..You already robbed my tank, now you want more...I see how you are.. Hey Les, I think I took a few more pix of that beast. You are being conservative.. :lol:
Ed :)
 
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mojoreef

Reef Keeper
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Jul 5, 2003
Messages
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Location
Sumner
Ahh cool les I thought you might have done a seem on the bottom, lol man that would have been scary.

Hey on the closed loop I would highly suggest not drawing water via an overflow. It will be virtually impossible to not get bubbles. You might want to concider drilling through the back or bottom to draw water from. You could always cover the drain inputs with some kind of a blind made of acrylic.


Mike
 

mike

Member
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
17
Location
Redmond
Looking good! Just one question? Why are there pipe clamps holding the top togeather? What thickness is the sides of your tank? Ok two questions! Mike
 

les

DIY Freak
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
126
Location
Kennewick WA
The entire tank is built with 1/2" acrylic, the overflows are 3/8. I thought the pipe clamps gave it a DIY look, don't you?? :lol:
Actually, I was doing a leak check on the tank before installing the top. When I get a certain someone out here to take another pic I will post it. The tank is completed now and waiting for water.
 

Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
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He was pressure testing it before he put the top on.. :shock: Ok, Ok...But not tomarrow, but soon :D
 
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mike

Member
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
17
Location
Redmond
Looks great! At 1/2" sides, I'd pay your home owners insurance early. I wish you the best of luck, but keep your shop vac at the ready. Leave the tanks to the professionals. Just ask Crows Ridge! Everyone that can cut some wood thinks that they can build a tank. Just think of all the animals that you are putting at risk! I can see starting with a 50 or even a 120, but a 275? With the spec's given, it is more like a 435. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when she gives up the ghost! All I can say is good luck. Mike
 

ponyguy

pony
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
13
Les, thats 439 gallons of pressure...WOW!!! and out of 1/2" material...Good luck with keeping that together for more than a month or so. I have been working with plastic for 10+ years and have to say that; that's not the way to do it...Your tank should be at least 3/4 if not 1"...Saving some money now wont be worth the money it cost you for cleanup, the money and lives of lost animals and worst of all; the thought that someone might be near the tank when it lets go!!! One of those panels cutting lose would seriously hospitalize if not kill a small child or even an adult person!!! I would consider the possibilities before you fill it with anything more than air...Best of luck...
 

edgerat

Indecisive
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Olympia, WA
its all in the top is it not? Why spend more money on 3/4" or even 1'(getting real close to bulletproof) if you are only going 24" high? I dont see an issue with building it out of 1/2" but then again what the hell do I know ;)
 

big t

tankless
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
1,914
Location
Denver
Les, 1/2" material will be fine. I am sure that you already know that. As long as your joints are good and bubble free and you used cell cast acrylic. I don't think there are any valid points about it being too thin. I do think that 1/2" would be minimal. Looks like you did a good job. I also agree w/ Mike on the no closed loop in your overflow. That takes the closed out of the CL and you will have bubbles for sure.
 

mike

Member
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
17
Location
Redmond
To Edgerat and Big T,
I really think that you all are missing the very valid points that I, as well as Pony have made. I know that everyone wants to save a buck, and some want to take pride in building something themselves. Aren't you saving enough money in "Doing it Yourself", why not make super duty? Go the 3/4" when you build it for the next go around. I feel that someone with a table saw and a router shouldn't be building a tank of this size. It is irresponsible to the animals, and to others that may attemp to do the same. Someone could seriously hurt. I wish the guy luck, but...... How many corals and fish will be lost from the wild when it does go while he is at work. The pumps will run dry for who knows how long. I have seen large pumps catch fire in this situation. All I want to get across to everyone is, you better think twice, next time you think to yourself, I can build that myself. I'd be on the phone to James at Envisions, ar Jason at CFI. They both have been building tanks for longer than most of us have been keeping saltwater. Mike, out!
 
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big t

tankless
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Oct 21, 2003
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Denver
Well, ok 3/4" would be a little more insurance, but the thing is this... it dosn't really matter how deep front to back the tank is, it could be 5" or 50" but the pressure from the water is very very similar. What really matters when it gets wide like that is how well the top is put on. When you go up in height is when it starts to make a difference on what thickness of acrylic you need to be using. I do not feel that it is irresponsable to build your own tank as long as you read up on it and do it right. This tank could blow who knows, but as long as he used weldon 4 and the pin method there should be no problems. It really depends on how good the joints are, and how well braced the top is. If this was my tank I would have built it w/ a 1/4" thick bottom, 1/2" sides and a 3/4" top brace. All you really need to build a tank is; a table saw, a router table, some pins, weldon 4 w/ applicator, some bar and corner clamps and a big flat surface to build it on.
 

big t

tankless
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
1,914
Location
Denver
Oh by the way, 7+ a board foot for oak is ridiculous! The last time I bought wood about 4 months ago oak was like 2.50, we paid $5 a BF for birds eye maple, and about the same for nice cherry, walnut was about $4. This was for 4/4 hit and miss, but mostly planed on 2 sides w/ rough edges. Go look at AWI in Tacoma.
 

Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,955
Location
Kennewick, Wa
big t said:
Well, ok 3/4" would be a little more insurance, but the thing is this... it dosn't really matter how deep front to back the tank is, it could be 5" or 50" but the pressure from the water is very very similar. What really matters when it gets wide like that is how well the top is put on. When you go up in height is when it starts to make a difference on what thickness of acrylic you need to be using. I do not feel that it is irresponsable to build your own tank as long as you read up on it and do it right. This tank could blow who knows, but as long as he used weldon 4 and the pin method there should be no problems. It really depends on how good the joints are, and how well braced the top is. If this was my tank I would have built it w/ a 1/4" thick bottom, 1/2" sides and a 3/4" top brace. All you really need to build a tank is; a table saw, a router table, some pins, weldon 4 w/ applicator, some bar and corner clamps and a big flat surface to build it on.
The pictures that have been posted on here are of Tank before top was put on. Les tested this tank with water before he put the top on. I and a few others were there to look for leaks and bowing. He then placed a full top on it and cut out openings (Euro Bracing). Les traveled around looking at custom acrylic tanks before hand and did some talking to people that work with acrylic. It is braced on the bottom, Ends and top. I wish you could see it in person. He was looking for flex without the top on it.
I do not remember the acrylic bowing when he tested it without top. Please look at bottom and ends in pictures you will see a outside seam. I hope this gives you peace to your mind.
Ed :)
 

edgerat

Indecisive
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Olympia, WA
Mike,
All I am saying is why doom the tank before it was even finished? If you cant applaud the guy for wanting to do it himself then why even comment at all? les felt that he had enough knowledge to it himself so he tried it and it looks like it held water anyways, thats the first step right? I just dont understand why you have such a negative attitude towards the guy for wanting to do it himself. Imagine if someone had told James at Envision Acrylics or the original owner of IAP that they couldn't build a tank themselves....You have to start somewhere and I still say that the construction that Les has and the makeup of the thickness of the material is right on the money for the height that he has chosen.
Isaac
 
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