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180 in-wall tank with fishroom

The MFK's DIY section! Enjoy with a PBR ASAP.

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Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:26 pm
discus fever Level 5 Member
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Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

time for a little update. work on this project is going pretty slow. I have put in the second layer of high density foamboard:
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Then came the heat duct. This is probably a good time to put in the usual disclaimer. I am not a professional and just cause I do it doesn't mean you should. So here goes:
I cut a big hole in the heat chase and found the heat run. then I marked the corners and drilled them out to have a place to start cutting from:
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i didn't measure well enough before I went to the store to buy materials, so I ended up making my own extension for the heat. I started with a generic piece like this:
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After cutting to length you snap 2 pieces together to form a rectangle. make some flanges on one end and screw it to the heat run. Then the screws are covered with aluminum tape:
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So far this room runs about 5-6 degrees warmer than the rest of the basement. Maybe that will help the elec. bill :)
There is more to come!






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Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:04 pm
vmahaffe User avatar
Level 6 Member
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Posts: 596
Location: ROCHESTER
You may need to invite me over when you are done so I can see it in person! :D
Looks good so far.

Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:15 pm
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

enxt came some more sheetrock.
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Now to tape the drywall. I am not very good at it but here's a drywall class 101 from a 101 1/2 instructor:)
first you mix the mud, I add a little dish soap to it to help it spread better:
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Then you cover the joint with mud and lay the paper tape on it. Take your taping knife and press the tape into the mud. Get out all the bubbles and excess mud so the tape isn't lumpy. If you squeeze out all the mud the tape will "pop" when it dries and it won't stick. Then you will have to cut it out and start over. Here you can see the tape as it gets pressed in. I add a little extra mud over the tape and smooth it out nicely.
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After it dries it's time to do a light sanding and add another coat and bring the mud out a little wider to help hide the seam. This is the same joint in both pics:
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Keep filling and sanding until the wall is perfect. This usually only takes me about 4000 hours per room :)

Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:21 pm
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

vmahaffe wrote:
You may need to invite me over when you are done so I can see it in person! :D
Looks good so far.

Thanks, I will, but it won"t be for a while. I work slow!

Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:34 pm
vmahaffe User avatar
Level 6 Member
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Posts: 596
Location: ROCHESTER
discus fever wrote:
Thanks, I will, but it won"t be for a while. I work slow!


If you need a hand, give me a shout. I finished my basement with some friends, so I know just enough to be dangerous.

Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:48 pm
toueeyoreeyang Level 6 Member
Level 6 Member

Posts: 535
Location: STP
It starting to look good bro. I can't wait to see the finished room. Keep posting, I don't mind waiting! :wink: In the words of Kentaro Owhay... "Very Educational!"
If it looks like a fish, swims like a fish, and taste like a fish...... it's delicious!!!

Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:58 pm
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

![/quote]

If you need a hand, give me a shout. I finished my basement with some friends, so I know just enough to be dangerous.[/quote]
Thanks for the offer. Thats about the same skill level i'm at! I'll call if I need a hand.

Post Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:54 am
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

It's been quite awhile since my last update so here goes.
I got all the sheetrock done and primed. I ran into one issue where the wall meets the existing popcorn ceiling and this is how I handled it. I did not want to scrape and respray the popcorn because it's time consuming and messy to re-do. On the first side I just cut the sheetrock and butted it tight to the ceiling. This left a small gap which I filled with caulk.
Before caulk:
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After caulk:
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This worked but it took over 30 min to caulk a 13' wall. On the next side I cut a bevel on the sheetrock so I could smash the sheetrock up a little tighter. This left a much smaller gap.
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This left a much smaller gap. It's too small to caulk so I tried to fill it with primer and hopefully when I paint it will fill in
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Primed and a door installed:
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Next I needed a break from mud and paint so here's a rack. I built it to hold 2 20 gal looking in the end or 1 30 long, or 3 10 gal looking in the end.The are three levels and the top two will have tanks and the bottom level will have a 30 gal tank with float valves for a sump.
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Yep, the room is still a mess. Here it is in place:
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this is another rack I got from a LFS that shut down a couple years ago.It's fiberglass and very light. I wish I would have bought more when I had the chance.
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Post Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:08 am
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

next came the stand for the 180. The wall holds up one side of the tank, so I had to build this onto the wall. I used 2 x 6's and 2x4's or the uprights and the weight is directly on the uprights. There are also uprights on the inside of the frame that go all the way to the top of the stand for stability.
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I will cover this with plywood to ease any height differences there may be although these are very small.

How about some DIY overflows in various configurations. Some of these are designed to drain about 60% of the water with a union. I haven't tested them yet, so we'll see how they work. I may need to drill some holes in the threaded collar :
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Here's one stretched out. (OOOPS it's upside down in the photo):
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A moveable filler thingy. It has a hole drilled in the elbow to prevent back siphoning when I shut the pump off. I learned the messy way to make sure it doesn't flow back down the hose and drain the tank. This can be moved from tank to tank depending on which one needs a WC:
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Here's what my discus are doing with my overflows:
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I also have a central airpump hooked up and running but no pics of system yet:
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That's about it for now. Let me know what you think.

Post Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:50 am
minnesnowta User avatar
Level 4 Member
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Posts: 144
Location: lino lakes
looking good man... got my pump going too.. got the same one as you on ebay..

Post Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:48 pm
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

minnesnowta wrote:
looking good man... got my pump going too.. got the same one as you on ebay..

Good to hear, how many outlets are you running? I have nine so far and I still have to leave four valves wide open with a short chunk of airhose and a dry airstone to bleed off excess so the pump doesn't bog down. The pump I have is a 201A.

Post Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:21 pm
minnesnowta User avatar
Level 4 Member
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Posts: 144
Location: lino lakes
one air stone and 6 sponges and i have to kink the hoses for the airstone and one sponge and have some of the valves half shut so they dont blow water out of the tank...0201a pump too

Post Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:51 pm
discus fever Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 380
Location: Rochester,mn

Here is my version of a mostly automatic water change system. This still does not eliminate siphoning to remove debris, but it I can change out the water daily or twice daily with almost no effort. The water is brought in from the laundry room through 1/4" high pressure plastic lines. Each sump will have one or two float valves depending on if that rack needs R.O. water or not. The water is heated and aerated in the sump and then is pumped up to the tanks by turning on a switch. The flow is controlled with 1/2" valves in case one tank needs more or less water. The water then flows through a PVC or other homemade overflow into a 3" x 20" PVC riser which is plumbed into a 1" drain that goes back through the wall into the laundry room and down the floor drain. I will make one of these systems for each rack and one for the 180 gal. in the wall.
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This sump is a 20 gal tank with a plexigalss divider siliconed in. I drilled large holes in the divider to allow for water movement. The plexi I used was not thick enough and it cracked while drilling it so I glued another piece to it. Not my best work but whose going to see it right? :) This sump is set up to use about 25% tap water and 75% ro. Here are some of the results. Please excuse the poor photos, My cell phone camera has met it's match with these small details and fast moving fry. There are about a hundred fry somewhere in there:
Wigglers:
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Freeswimming:

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Hopefully I can keep them alive :)

Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:55 am
SnowMouse User avatar
Level 7 Member
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Posts: 781
Location: Brooklyn Park
That room is going to be really eye-catching, Good Luck and Have Fun!
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Post Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:38 am
JOEDN20 Level 1 Member
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Posts: 12
Location: wst paul
looks good cant wait to see it finneshed :lol:

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