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Build Thread 93 Gallon cube

BigWave

Active Member
Founding Member
Nov 1, 2022
432
804
Seattle, WA
As many of you know I have a 93 gallon cube, had it for a while now. After some coaxing I though I might as well start a build thread for it.
These 1st few pages we will be playing catch up to todays date and time.

I bought it off a local reefing group in 2018 and drove down to Seattle, about 1.5 hr drive to pick it up. The couple were moving and had to get rid of it in a hurry. Paid $350 for the entire setup. It was in pretty bad shape with coraline algae literally everywhere. I dont have many pictures of it origionally but here are a few.
I did not see it at the time but the sump was custom made out of glass from the hardware store. It was siliconed directly to the frame in the exact dimensions as the bottom. The only way to clean / remove it was destroy it.

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After a few days of researching online I came up with a good design plan for building the 2x4 stand. Lots of wood glue and torque screws were involved. Mind you this was pre Covid where wood was cheep. The stand measures 31" x 31" x 36" inches. I designed it at 31" inches due to if you remove any door in the house off its hinges the stand will barely fit through with an inch to spare. The height is due to the consideration of a 10lb CO2 bottle being able to fit easily underneath. Also the Big 20" DIY Cergis CO2 reactor being able to fit.
Excuse the messy garage :unsure: :rolleyes:

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For paint I used Krylon High Gloss Oven Enamul Epoxy. The stuff you'd spray on, well an oven or appliances and it wont scratch or stain.
Must of gone through about 7 cans of the stuff. Never have enough LOL.

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For the stain I used Varathane Dark Walnut wood stain (2 coats). After a few days of drying I coated everything in Minwax Helmsman Clear Semi Gloss Spar Urathane - Oil base. I forgot exactly but probably 3 coats.
Seeing as I used common 1/2" Poplar plywood for the doors and 3/4" on the top I edge banded all the pieces with Poplar edge banding material and an Iron.

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It took almsot a month for the smell to get out of the garage lol. I did use a little trick. Once completely dry for a few days wipe the entire surface down with a wet rag covered in vinegar. The chemical reacton helps eleviate the smell.
 
Searching around I found plenty of ready made sumps but they all cost a small fortune. I decided upon a basic Aqueon 20 long from the Petco Dollar Per Gallon sales. I purchased a Figi Cube 20 gallon sump kit of their website. Then assembled everything myself. It came with 2x 1 micro filter socks. In hind sight -> 5 years later, I do not recommend anything under 50 or even 100 microns for a planted tank. The socks clog up within a few days from all the deterous and plant matter. It was too the point I had to clean them 3x a week. I learned the easy way of cleaning filter socks is toss them in the washing machine without any soap. Good thing I'm single LOL.
The sump pump is a Jeboa DCP 9000 cine wave that sits in the last chamber. Learnt from previous mistakes when hard plumbing and always, always, always use unions. So as to dissassemble and clean.

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I am very apprenhesive about drilling this tank so purchased an Eshopps PF1200 hang on back overflow. It has 1/2" PVC hard lined in. NOTE: after running this tank for years this severly needs upgrading, especially the 1/2" tubing. I am still on the fence about drilling but I think this will be next iteration of this tank. Will also upgrade to gate valves instead of ball valves in the future but this means all plumbing will need to be made over which is terribly expensive.
Initially when I setup this tank I thought of having an inline DIY Rex Griggs style CO2 reactor, thus the clear tube. No matter what I did this would not provide enough CO2 into this tank. Therefore I upgraded to the Big 20" Whole House Filter aka Cergis Reactor.

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@Art, it does not seem like we have the ability to attach multiple build threads to our profile. Is this a thing? Or maybe somehow make it so the people that have multiple tanks can attach each one. In this way if anyone wants to see my tanks all they have to do is click. Just a thought.
 
Searching around I found plenty of ready made sumps but they all cost a small fortune. I decided upon a basic Aqueon 20 long from the Petco Dollar Per Gallon sales. I purchased a Figi Cube 20 gallon sump kit of their website. Then assembled everything myself. It came with 2x 1 micro filter socks. In hind sight -> 5 years later, I do not recommend anything under 50 or even 100 microns for a planted tank. The socks clog up within a few days from all the deterous and plant matter. It was too the point I had to clean them 3x a week. I learned the easy way of cleaning filter socks is toss them in the washing machine without any soap. Good thing I'm single LOL.
The sump pump is a Jeboa DCP 9000 cine wave that sits in the last chamber. Learnt from previous mistakes when hard plumbing and always, always, always use unions. So as to dissassemble and clean.

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Why aren't your overflow pipes exiting into the small chamber to the right of your socks? It would reduce splashing and some degassing and be a bit quieter.
 
okay, i've drilled a few tanks. It really is easy.

Fiji cube makes the best overflow, IMO. You buy it in a kit that comes with a template with water line mark so you can get your holes exactly where you need them. Glass hole saw drill bit, keep it wet. Go slow.

From the new overflow, do a bean animal drain. You only need a gate valve on the primary drain. have the primary and secondary end at/just below the waterline, have the emergency drain end in a place it will make noise. It should only have water in it upon start up (until the primary gets to full siphon) and during an emergency.

That will greatly improve your overflow. It is a very uncommon sight for reefers today to use a HOB overflow, just too risky.
 
Blackground is what i always paint my tanks. With black overflow it blends in pretty well.

With the fiji cube kit, you can simply remove the overflow, you could temp block the holes and boom, competition ready.
 
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