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First Marine Tank - 3' FOWLR

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First Marine Tank - 3' FOWLR

Postby juststu82 » Mon 29 Jun, 2009 3:15 pm

So we just got our house in blaxland. Prior to the move I emptied my 3' tank and sent my Oscar to a friends who had a larger home for him. Now I want to finally work on my first marine tank. A straight forward FOWLR with only around three or four fish (pair of clowns plus dunno yet), a BTA and shrimp and/or similar.

System Objectives: My first functioning and healthy marine tank. I'd also like to build as much as I can for the satisfaction it gives to see the end product.

System Type: FOWLR

Display System:

Strike up Date: ASAP - lots of work at this stage

Display Tank: 3'L x 14"W x 18"H with centre brace

Display Lighting: 4xT5 set up, yet to buy

Stand: Will be reusing the skeleton of my current stand. Need to redress, stain and add doors.

Hood: As above

Sump: This will come later after strike up and provision will be made for adding in. Possibly DIY acrylic, may not have sump if this proves difficult although I have a lot of acrylic I was given for this job.

Refugium: As above

Refugium Lighting: As above

Support systems:

System Water: Artificial salt water

Display Water circulation: In tank water circulation.

Return Pump:Researching

Skimmer: HOB to start with. When the sump comes in I will adjust.

Evaporation Top Up: Manual

Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: TBA

Alkilinity Addition: TBA

Other Chemical Maintenance: TBA

Current Water Chemistry: TBA
Salinity / Specific Gravity:
Last edited by juststu82 on Fri 17 Jul, 2009 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby juststu82 » Tue 30 Jun, 2009 9:59 am

Just to give an idea of where the project is heading at this stage. I'm firstly going to be working on the stand and hood, after all once she's full it can't be moved or changed.

I'm redressing so the back of the stand is the front, the reason being is that the support braces at the front leave room for small doors. I need to put a centre 2"x4" brace in the back and then put all the dressing back on with two large doorways and a side access doorway for the hopefully to be built sump. I'm also adding flooring as it has none and staining it to match the rest of our furniture. I'm going to try and make my angled front hood into a square front hood.

I'll chuck some pictures up soon, we just moved so I'll get out on the weekend and do it.

I'm still trying to figure what colour to paint the back of the tank as well, blue/depth or black/stand-out......keep cruising the journals and judge how I like the effect of other tanks.

I'll also need to construct two overflow boxes (for safety) and plumb them in line with each other and also the sump. I can then test run it on my porch where a flood won't damage my marriage.

Apart from this I'll be researching skimmers, lights, pumps, etc. It will be located near a split system so a chiller won't be priority at this stage either. I'll also visit my new lfs's and make friends.

I also want to find a compatible couple of species to go with a clowns so I can have around four to five fish and look at some cleaners (shrimp, stars, etc) Any help here would be great.
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Postby siddr20 » Tue 30 Jun, 2009 10:24 am

welcome to the marine adiction were you will be spending countless hours in front of your tank and empty wallets :P heheh ... thats a good thing :)

Looks like you doing your research before getting involved which is great :)

Post up pics when you start building your stand..

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Postby juststu82 » Mon 06 Jul, 2009 12:57 pm

SO I was moving some stuff around to get some photos (to be posted) and when I went to slip a blocksplitter down the side of the tank it het the top edge of the tank and took a half cm ship out of the outside about a quarter of the width of the tank. It's painful and it s annoying but I have a hood and it's the very top edge so it will not cause issue but its still a chip I'll know is there.

I have the photos on my camera, I just need to transfer them. I'll explain the diy for the stand from them in the next post.
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Postby juststu82 » Thu 09 Jul, 2009 4:33 pm

So Here are some cabinet pictures.

First is the whole cabinet

<a href="http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/Juststu/?action=view&current=IMG_4819.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/Juststu/IMG_4819.jpg" border="0" alt="Cabinet front"></a>

As you can see the colour is faded and the lid doesn't match as it was bought later. First thing I'm doing as taking the dressing off and redoing it the other way around, ie the back become the front. I'll also be opening the doors to be bigger and adding a door on at least one end also.

This picture is inside through a door opeing.

<a href="http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/Juststu/?action=view&current=IMG_4820.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/Juststu/IMG_4820.jpg" border="0" alt="Cabinet back panel"></a>

This gives a good view of the back wall. It has no suppport beam so I'll be adding one in the centre but it also has nothing to block access like the front shown in the next photo a little better. This means I can effectively add huge doors.

<a href="http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/Juststu/?action=view&current=IMG_4823.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/Juststu/IMG_4823.jpg" border="0" alt="Cabinet inside front"></a>

As you can see the crossbeams at the front are really close together hence the small access holes. They are also bevilled into the middle support so I can't remove them without replacing the whole support system. there is however enough space for plumbing so I'll be adding a sheet of mdf or something similar to this when it becomes the back and leaving the top area open for cords and plumbing. I'll also be adding a floor to put the sump on.

After all that is done I'll be staining it a dark reddy brown colour and that will be the first step of the process.
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