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175g Bow-Front + many beers and tears (many pics)

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by scmountain, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    Follow my Fiancée and I as we go through the highs and lows of building a dream setup.

    Disclaimer: Even though it is extremely taboo to discuss in public, I will be posting costs as I do this build. My reasoning being that I want to inspire others to take risks and go the DIY route. These costs might be great finds or a terrible ripoff.

    Finally bought my first house, which means it is time for my dream tank!

    The Vision: AN IN-WALL WINDOW TO THE OCEAN!!!!
    buuuut reality and $$$ will make this a challenge.
    The Tank: 175 gallon RR oceanic bow front
    $175
    [​IMG]

    I had been planning on using a 120g RR tank for the past 2 years, and have moved that hoss 3 times! I always wanted larger but weight is an issue and I got one helluva deal on it. also hadn't come across any large bowfronts I could afford. I have been on Craigslist for the last year searching for deals to try and save as much as possible.

    upon purchasing our house I found out the room I want to use, is slab on grade, thus making weight less of a concern. So I started looking at other options than the 120g. @TheRealChrisBrown hits me up with a possible lead for a tank, AND IT HAPPEND TO BE A BOWFRONT at a great cost too!!! What luck!
    The tank has one broken brace that needs repaired but holds water just fine.

    I am upgrading from a 58g tank meaning that almost all of the hardware I have will not work on the new setup, this makes my wallet cry.
    (here it is in "limp mode" after the move just keeping corals alive until the new tank is setup)
    [​IMG]
    had to get them out of the cooler...
    [​IMG]

    The Room:
    before
    [​IMG]

    gotta get rid of that 1970s paneling!
    [​IMG]
    well that is a sad attempt of insulation, that needs to be fixed.
    I plan on just blocking off that old window, that way when resale happens I can easily revert the space.
    [​IMG]

    I was borrowing my dads truck and had to get it back to him so I had to move the tank. So my buddy and I put our big boy pants on, and moved that beast into the house onto the stand I built. 2x4 doubled up on the frame and 6 main legs ( I might add 2 more mains this weekend just to be sure)
    added a few extra single braces for good measure

    [​IMG]

    Lizzie then got to cleaning all of the encrusted duster skeletons and coralline algae off. She could go swimming in this!
    [​IMG]

    lumber and hardware cost $60

    Next Step: I am extremely wary of any inconsistent force applied to the bottom of the tank. I don't want a pressure point to cause cracks or cloud the bowed glass, so I will be leveling MDF board onto the stand with mortar or bondo (better chemical resistance). Then I will seal the entire stand.
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  2. flagg37

    flagg37 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    So what are the dimensions of that tank? It looks like a great find.
     
    scmountain likes this.
  3. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    72" L x (17" ends, 24" bow) W x 29" H
    One of those "is this fate or just pure luck" moments
     
    geekengineer likes this.
  4. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Nice start to your build and a great looking tank to work with. Are you going to do more finish work with that wall behind the tank?
     
  5. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Following along! I’m happy to see you put costs, gives us a realistic idea.
    I’d get that outlet switched over to gfci since it will be below the tank.
    Also, I’d shy away from MFD around the tank since it doesn’t get along with water very well (maybe I’m not following the part about mortar/bondo).


    Sent from my iPhone using MASC - Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado
     
  6. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    yea I plan to rough finish that wall, or at least insulate and plastic wrap the area for any worst case scenarios. there will be a finished "wall" flush, above and below the tank

    Good thinking I will also raise that outlet to light height.
    I know would like to avoid MDF for that reason you bring up, but it is one of the straightest materials at a Home Depot. I want the surface that the tank rests on Perfectly flat, the bondo just fills the irregularities in the stand/MDF mating surface
     
  7. geekengineer

    geekengineer Copepod

    wow that should be a pretty nice setup. that's a really good deal you found there.
     
  8. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Oh cool, sorry I missed the 'in wall' part of your post. Will the top and bottom walls flush with the tank be bowed then too? Maybe I should be on a DIY home remodeling forum because that stuff gets me jazzed.
    I definitely agree about switching that outlet to GFCI for safety since you have the opportunity. Even if you move the outlet up the wall.
    I think most folks use 3/4 plywood for top surface to rest the tank on. It should give you a nice flat surface for the tank and will be much more durable when exposed to moisture compared to MDF.
     
  9. apex_seeking

    apex_seeking Copepod

    I agree with using the ply. Mdf would have to be sealed and even then, I’m not sure how long it would hold up to water.

    That being said, I used mdf on my stand because it’s what I had laying around. I used oil based kilz and the finished it with high gloss enamel paint. It’s like a plastic. Water beads up on it. Just make sure whatever you choose to use, that you watch the end grain. If you get moister in the end of your lumber, it’ll swell and delaminate.


    Sent from my iPhone using MASC mobile app
     
  10. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    stumbled across this video,
    I cant tell how common this issue is with bow fronts? (nobody posts "EMERGENCY: MY BOW FRONT IS FINE)
    Since my tank is dry, I have the ability to do this, but there are no leaks, is it worth it?
     
  11. geekengineer

    geekengineer Copepod

    Nice setup going there..

    I think that tank that was in the video was leaking int the first place. I'm not an expert but you would think you wouldn't want to mess with it unless it leaking. ( a.k.a. if it ain't broke don't fix it..) Do you know if this tank was fine before hand? Sounds like from what this guy says leaking may be more common with a bow front so hard for me to say. Maybe just check your seals on the tank and make sure they look healthy. Maybe some pro's can chime in..
     
  12. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I don't understand what he is trying to accomplish?
     
    geekengineer likes this.
  13. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    He is trying to use as much silicone as possible!
    Mine held water just fine, and all seals look good.
     
  14. geekengineer

    geekengineer Copepod

    Yeah I am not totally sure either..
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  15. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    Fiancee's parents came to town so my weekend was not as productive as I would have liked.... her dad did help me install the insulation for the window and the old wall!

    I put a sheet of 3/4 plywood on the stand followed by a thick coat of exterior paint to make sure all grain ends and joints were filled/sealed. $34 wood $10 paint

    Piece of extruded polystyrene on top of the plywood. I know many debate the necessity of foam under a tank, but the shop that sold me this tank who manage tanks professionally, told me "always use foam under a bow front! 1/2 should be fine. the only time we don't use foam is if they sign a liability waiver."
    So using the same pink foam board insulation I used to insulate the old large window, made a footprint for the tank to rest upon and now should have no high or low pressure points on the tank.

    didn't take any photos while working on it sadly but here is the insulation and the foam
    [​IMG]
     
    geekengineer likes this.
  16. geekengineer

    geekengineer Copepod

    Yeah I don't know who to believe about the whole foam thing. Some people say its not a good idea and other say its just fine..
     
  17. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Depends on where you using it and the tank it self. If its a framed tank, foam pretty much does nothing, but for an acrylic or a frameless glass tank it helps protect the bottom surface from micro fractures caused by imperfections in the surface it is resting on.
     
  18. geekengineer

    geekengineer Copepod

    Yeah I should have said I was talking about a framed tank. Still I see people debate if on framed tanks.
     
  19. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    If it was a not a bowed front AND not a home made stand I would not be concerned, but that's not the case. If it is useless, shucks darn I wasted 20 bucks. Vs 5 years from now having 180ish gallons on my floor...
     
  20. scmountain

    scmountain Copepod

    Again bowed glass does not act the same as a straight pane. Not taking risks
     

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