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A Golden Reef Tank (v2)

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by halmus, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    Cyclist- Thanks!

    Oberst- I appreciate everyone's feedback. I started fabricating and mounting the bracket(s) which will mount the lead screw barrel nut to the moving assembly (aquarium hood, rack, and lights).

    Once that's aligned and tightened down, I'll start fabricating the brackets that hold the bearings and lead screw in place. The lead screw is static on the horizontal plane and just rotates moving the barrel nut (and therefore the whole hood assembly).

    Once that's done, I'll attach an extension rod to it temporarily and I'll be able to tighten a standard drill to the extension and spin the rod manually when I need to move the hood in and out. That will be the temporary solution until I come back and mount the final drive system permanently.
  2. Etoimos

    Etoimos Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Glad to hear you found a way to move forward on the automation of the hood.
  3. neil82

    neil82 Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    This was my thought too. It is such an incredible build that it would not be worth it to take any short cuts. Keep the pictures coming! Very glad you took the time to revive the thread after the photobucket setback.
  4. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member


    The masses have voted and it's happening, assuming I don't run into a major roadblock.


    Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to have something worth photographing by the end of Monday.

    The garage project at my neighbors went better than expected and I'll have tomorrow and Sunday to make progress.
  5. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    I'm not sure how to insert a video properly here, but I think this will work as a link

  6. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    That's an early video of the hood sliding mechanism. I still need to go back and attach the motor, but everything internal is working as expected. I added limit sensors to both ends. I'll be using stepper motors with a microprocessor so the limit sensors will just be a safety backup in case the microprocessor looses track of where things are.

    Otherwise, the MCU will count the number of steps from one end to the other, accelerate, decelerate, and interface to a remote. I'll also add physical switches inside the hood and in the back room in case I get tired of using a remote.

    For now, I have everything internal set. I'll be focusing on sealing off that section with acrylic to isolate it all from moisture. Then, I'll start hanging lights.
  7. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Holy bleeping bleep! Bleepity bleep, bleep bleep. That is the coolest bleeping thing I have ever seen.
    Dr.DiSilicate likes this.
  8. Etoimos

    Etoimos Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Very sweet man!
  9. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    This is beyond cool
  10. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    [QUOTEHoly bleeping bleep! Bleepity bleep, bleep bleep. That is the coolest bleeping thing I have ever seen.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks everyone. And thank you for the extra Bleeps!

    I hope to have the lights installed this weekend and the cords nicely prepped for whatever controller I use.

    I am still debating how much of this will be standalone and how much will be on a controller.

    Also, I have one last pump to plumb in which will be a backup in case of power outages. I'll have a heater and pump staged in the overflow to immediately plug into a generator. That will just cycle water in the tank and overflow keeping it oxygenated and warm.

    Then, if the stars align, I can start on the rock next week.
    SynDen likes this.
  11. Stickhead

    Stickhead Copepod

  12. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    Water? That's what it's missing! I've been trying to figure out why my rock is so dry.

    The wife and I spent a few weekends and a lot of nights working on rock in the display.

    I've been working feverishly on the back end sorting out all of the electrical cords for lights and pumps. There's a lot to finish with electrical but my first goal is to get everything critical to cycling the tank itself finished. Then, I'll add water to the tank (and overflow) and just get the water flowing in the tank alone before adding in the sump. It's a big system so I'm taking baby steps bringing her online.

    I did add water to the fuge. It's running stand-alone.

    I need to post pictures and video that I've been collecting.
  13. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    It's been a long time since an update. I've been working hard behind the scenes but it never seems like it's going fast enough. I've had a few minor setbacks that I've been working through. I won't mention them but I will
    say that my local shop here in Denver, Aquatic Art, is awesome!

    So, since the last update my wife and I focused heavily on the rockwork. This might be the most challenging part of this build for me. I've watched videos, reviewed photos, other builds, read all of literature I could find
    on issues like "forced perspective, "rule of thirds", the fact that we'll appear to loose depth front to back by a factor due to refraction of light in wate. We tried very hard to keep the rockwork open and a good distance
    from the glass. Even with a 4' x 4' footprint, I found myself wishing I had a bigger tank.

    Here is the finished product for rockwork. We have independent boomies (spelling?) for the most part. The boomies or pillars could be removed. The arch in the rear is a little overwhelming and more bulky than I would have
    perfered but it's in place. It will be nice once it's grown over with sticks.


    This is the tank with water and only a single T5 fixture turned on in the center.


  14. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    I finished the mixing station for now. I made acrylic boxes for the electronics and easy access to the pump controllers. Later on, I will be integrating more electronics into those boxes. For now, they're mostly empty.


  15. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    I added miracle mud, sand, and crushed coral to the refugium. The elevated portion on the right end has a deepish bed of mud covered with sand/gravel. That is intended for mangroves. The heater will be taken out and hidden


  16. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    I installed two Vectra M1's into the overflow box. They feed back up to independent sea-swirls. That's a modified closed loop. I have these set up obviously for the added flow, but also because these will be my go-to pumps
    to transfer over in the event of a power outage. I didn't want a true closed loop because I didn't want the extra holes. These accomplish almost the same thing.


  17. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    I installed the four MP-60's in the dry boxes. Then, I spent a good amount of time organizing electronics. The cord management isn't complete. I'm still debating controllers and how much I'll actually run through a
    controller. For now, everything that is running is plugged in directly to surge protectors. I'm labeling every single outlet and cord so that I have a good reference as to what exactly is plugged into what circuit. I'll
    probably write up some documentation for further reference. That will also allow me to start tracking dates for warrenty, service, and bulb replacement.

    I built an 8' tall rack that is a "corner" cabinet. It sits in the little corner where the refugium meets the frag rack. That will basically function as an IT rack. I'll have some UPS in there, the controller, and all of
    the switches, meters, displays, general electronics interface. I am installing doors tomorrow. The door panels are basically modular removeable panels that I can modify and replace as I start mounting the controller and
    switches. The doors themselves will only be opened when I need to modify something in the electronics. Otherwise, it is a sealed box to protect from splashing. I will probably need to vent it. That's the nice thing about
    having a modular face to the doors. I can add and remove things as needed without rebuilding the entire cabinet.

  18. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    Lastly, I've been making A LOT of water! Today, I finally did a final check on all of the true union valves and let the water run down into the sump. I initially had all valves turned off and then started opening one at a
    time so that I could bring small sections online to monitor. Eventually, I got both return pumps running. I'm using matching Dolphin pumps as returns. One return feeds the display, the refugium, and the reactors. The other
    return feeds the display and the frag tank sump. I have just the sump to the frag tank tied in and cycling with the display's water for now. Once the rock in there is cured, I could potentially isolate that system and start
    running the frag tanks on their own. Or, I could turn on the frag tanks and allow the water to continue to mix with the display's for added stability.

    I filled the fresh water top-off tank and have that running with the main sump. It just tops off via gravity and the float valve. That has been a stable solution in the past and is working well again.

    I already conducted some power failure tests. My sump can hold the volume. I did identify one issue with the refugium during a power outage. I will need to address that later on.

    Overall, with the water running, I'm feeling pretty confident. I still need to install a more perminant heater solution. I pulled old heaters from the last tank for now. They're 300 Watt.






    One major thing I haven't done yet is bringing the skimmer online. I will probably do that tomorrow or next weekend. I want to make sure I'm around to watch it for a full day in case something unexpected happens. Just
    getting this water running this much is enough for now.
  19. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    Quick edit: a few posts back I made reference to a local shop here in Denver. Obviously, I'm in Colorado. I wrote this up in a text file because I'm posting to a nation wide forum and I'm doing a copy and paste with some of these updates. I forgot to edit the line about the local shop. We all know Aquatic Art is awesome, but I probably didn't need to remind you they're in Denver. :)
  20. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Everything looks awesome! CONGRATS!

    Has the cycle started?

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