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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

Here's an abridged version of my original build thread. I began with the Xmas 2009 purchase of Marius' 400 gallon Tenecor acrylic tank. It was in good shape with a couple of minor scratches which I will buff out. I would say it was in 7.5/10 condition. Not bad for a used acrylic. A beast of a tank, Marius helped me move it into my garage...where it had stayed for about 3 months. The dimensions are 96Lx36Dx27H and two predrilled corner overflows.



I originally was looking for a tubular steel stand but was unable to find someone to make one for me that was affordable. Thus I decided to build one for myself out of wood. It wasn't too hard to do if you could borrow the right tools.

This pile of wood:
Becomes this:


I put some plywood down on the top and on the bottom to form the base for all the filtration hardware. I was originally just going to paint the stand with a couple of coats of Kilz sealer but happened upon a cheap box of self adhesive lino. Easy to apply and handles spills easily. You can see the stuff in this pic of the stand:



The next big hurdle was to get a couple of guys to move the beast into the room. It was heavy, but not that bad...just awkward to get into some spots due to space limitations for turning, etc... Here it is in the room:



Now the hard part. All the plumbing has to be laid out and then glued together. Not having done plumbing before and with the fear of 400 gallons of water leaking, I was pretty paranoid about this part. I just decided to take things very slowly and take my time rather than rush. I've installed ball valves where I can to help isolate problems if I run into any and to help with servicing. For filtration, I decided to go with a custom made sump/wetdry filter. Patrick from Canadian Aquatics hooked me with up with a custom fabricator and he produced this 80 gallon acrylic wet dry sump:



For the return line from the wet dry filter, it will be 1.5" PVC going through a two hot tub jet bulkheads. I had to drill a number of holes in the back of the tank using a diamond bit. The drilling wasn't hard to do, just somewhat time consuming in order to keep the holes nice and clean.



To accomodate the drains from the overflows, I had to create a couple of cutouts for the plumbing that would clear the stand structure. 1.5" plumbing is pretty bulky and it was pretty tight in there. I've also included a couple of shots of the plumbing as well to give you an idea of what I'm trying to do.



If you notice on the pics of the bulkheads, there are a few more than normal, that's because I'm going to be plumbing in my 2 FX5's that I'm currently running in my other tanks. This is to provide additional mechanical filtration. In fact, I'm just going to load those up to do only mechanical. The sump should easily take care of the bio needs of this tank.

to be cont....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so when does this beauty get filled tony??? :D
Hi Ben, with any luck maybe in 2 weeks time I can do my first water test with the fully hooked up system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome Tony! You got the thread going again. I have something to look forward to whenever I surf BCA. :p
Haha, Gary, just because of that comment, I'll have to continue to post updates more frequently! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Continued...

Since I've had fish, I've known my fair share of fish diseases. Ever since I've been running UV sterilizers, I haven't seen much in terms of disease at all. Therefore, I've invested in an Emperor Aquatics Smart UV sterilizer....40 watts. It's a big unit if you are wondering. I guess they make it for ponds and space limitations aren't such a concern. Here's the pic.



Basically, each end has a 1" barb fitting that accomodates a intake from a pump and then other side obviously a return, in my case, back to my sump. I thought about plumbing it inline with my main return pump but I didn't want to add more complexity to this project than already exists. So I went with a Quiet One 3000 pump which I already had lying around. I will need to throttle that back with a ball valve since it pushes like 700gph. The UV should only be doing about 200gph if you want to kill parasites, but 400gph to clarify water. With the ball valve, I should be able to control that. The Quiet One pump with push water up to a manifold I will be building that will have the ball valve, a Tee to connect to the intake of the UV sterilizer, and then one final tee to the intake of my reactor which will be full of Purigen. Pics of the reactor later. I've also included a couple of pics showing my main return pump and the overflow plumbing that will be draining into the sump.



to be continued...
 

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Haha, Gary, just because of that comment, I'll have to continue to post updates more frequently! :D
You da man! Realistically, at this stage in my life, I've come to realize that I'll never be able to have a huge tank because I like variety too much, so the biggest I can go is a 240 8 footer, so guys like you doing 400 gallon tanks allow me to live vicariously through your eyes. Plus I'm not much of a DIY'er, so getting to see details of how people do things really interest me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
To be honest, I would have never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever buy a tank of this size. Dunno why I decided to do it. It's kind of an evolution for me. Started with smaller fish, then they stopped being interesting to me...maybe I was getting bored. Then I went to big African cichlids, then to the bigger SA cichlids. Now for me is going to be a SA biotope with the focus on p.bass and perhaps a ray or two.
 

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Now for me is going to be a SA biotope with the focus on p.bass and perhaps a ray or two.
Hahaha...our aspirations about different yet the same.....I'm dreaming of a certain Blue Eyed fish and a very very large Pseudacanthicus in a 240. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hahaha...our aspirations about different yet the same.....I'm dreaming of a certain Blue Eyed fish and a very very large Pseudacanthicus in a 240. :D
Yeah, I remember seeing the Blue Eyed fish at Charles' place. Incredible. When you think of how long it took the fish to grow to that size. Even the smaller royals he had in that tank, easily took 20 plus years for them to reach that size.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So Kole's post got my butt in gear and I went and did a bit of work tonite. Also, I've shot a few more pics to show a bit more progress. Basically, I'm just about done all the work in terms of the plumbing. Most of the time spent was all in figuring out the plumbing but also in being able to buy alot of the 1.5" pvc plumbing, most of which I got online. Some of the stuff is just plain hard to find locally. I went everywhere after going to the usual HD and Rona (which surprisingly had a far superior selection). I went to all the wholesalers, Emco, Woleseley, Universal..etc. Easiest to find was online. Typical hard to find stuff was Sch 80 stuff, like hose barbs that was a slip fitting, cheap true union ball valves, odd stuff like that.

Hooked up all overflows with Durso standpipes.

The following is a cornucopia of the finished plumbing pics.



I still have to plumb in the FX5's but the hard plumbing for that is already done. Note the hose barbs with the ball valves at the rear of the tank. I have one set for the left side and one for the right side of the tank for my 2 FX5's. Just a matter of cutting some PVC hose and I'm done there. I figure I would do a leak test first before I hook those up, just to help narrow things down if indeed I have to deal with a leak.

Oh here's a quick shot of some of my the stuff that I felt made my life way easier with this project.


Porter Cable polisher to buff out the used acrylic tank. I do have one major scratch which I will have to wet sand. Novus polish, which did the trick for most of the minor scuffs. Gorilla PVC glue. No extra primer required, also gave more than the usual 3 seconds to work with the glue. A lifesaver for novice plumbers. Loctite thread sealant. Forget about teflon tape. This stuff is easy to use. I thought about chemical issues with it but it is used for household plumbing which I have to assume is safe for potable water. Finally, the trusty ratcheting pipe cutter. Don't even bother doing a big pvc job without this. Takes 5 seconds to do a cut. Clean as a whistle.

So that's it for now, next up is a leak test and more updates to come as I do that. I still have to figure out heaters and temperature controllers but I do have many a regular heater at my disposal for the time being. Then for the next part I'll have to figure out my lighting. I'm going to do a LED project and see how that pans out. Phew.....that darn Kole :D ......it's almost 1am! Gotta go to bed....meetings tomorrow AM.

Tony
 

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A chop saw will cut PVC pretty quickly too.
:D

Glad to see this setup coming along.
I'm still procrastinating on my project.
I should just get my stand sanded & stained since the weather is so nice.
Since it's so nice my dog is always bugging to go to the park.
:D
Good thing my dog luvs whenever I woodwork.
He always get his choice of the scarp pieces.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A chop saw will cut PVC pretty quickly too.
:D
At 2AM, chop saw = unhappy family :eek:

but absolutely, if I had one, I would have used it too. I would have gotten this done faster and believe me it kills me to take this long. I'm lucky if I get 5 hours a week to work on it between the family and my day job as controller at my company.
 

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Looking really good. i love big projects like this, just provides more inspiration for when I get to do one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Looking really good. i love big projects like this, just provides more inspiration for when I get to do one.
I must admit, it was BCA that inspired me to do this. It feeds the addiction. My fear is that once this project is all done, I'll miss having a project on the go!
 

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I must admit, it was BCA that inspired me to do this. It feeds the addiction. My fear is that once this project is all done, I'll miss having a project on the go!
I know what you mean. I am constantly looking for something to start up or work with. Another reason I like building the stands. I have some big plans for when I move and hopefully they should take a good chunk of time to fully set up.
 

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Porter Cable polisher to buff out the used acrylic tank. I do have one major scratch which I will have to wet sand. Novus polish, which did the trick for most of the minor scuffs. Gorilla PVC glue. No extra primer required, also gave more than the usual 3 seconds to work with the glue. A lifesaver for novice plumbers. Loctite thread sealant. Forget about teflon tape. This stuff is easy to use. I thought about chemical issues with it but it is used for household plumbing which I have to assume is safe for potable water. Finally, the trusty ratcheting pipe cutter. Don't even bother doing a big pvc job without this. Takes 5 seconds to do a cut. Clean as a whistle.
Tony[/QUOTE]

Hey Tony. I tank is looking great . Was wondernig where did you get the novus polish solution from. I need it for the 120 acrylic i have . thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Novus should be available at Lordco I think. I bought mine on ebay.
 
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