DFWMAS's Slowest Build Thread - "La Scogliera" - Custom 90 gal Reef Dropoff Tank

Some of you may recall me (and my tanks) from an old thread here as well as on ARC and ReefCentral from when I built my 440 gallon custom reef dropoff tank. Sadly, before I could finish setting up that tank my fiancee and I split so I had to move out of the house and into an apartment, and very few complexes will let you put a 440 gallon fish tank on the third floor for some reason.Fast forward a few years (and a few cross-country moves) and with enough prodding from Melev I decided to finally get another tank (albeit MUCH smaller as I'm still in an apartment, so just a 28 gallon ECO Mini 28R with an AI PrimeHD, an ATO, and a small skimmer in one of the back compartments).Anyway, like most reefers I'm always thinking/dreaming/planning of my next tank, and a loooong road trip with Melev to pick up the CNC now known as "Minion" the thought of leveraging the accuracies of CNC machining to not only cut the acrylic for the tank but also to make one helluva perfectly straight and square tank stand (which is a must for long-term viability of a reef drop tank) started to take hold.Many hours of discussions with Melev later, and even more hours (and hours and hours) and hundreds of revisions later, I think I have the plan for the tank I refer to as "la scogliera" (Italian for 'the reef'). I'm a big fan of themes in design, and I've taken a number of cues from Italian automobiles and high-end appliances in the design theme for this tank/stand.[By the way, for those looking for a quick payoff, be aware it's going to be quite a while before this tank gets built as I'm still very much in the early planning stages.]THE STANDThe stand will be cut from AB-grade?3/4" marine ply by Melev's Minion to exceedingly tight tolerances, to include pressure-fit tabs to ensure proper alignment of all internal braces and external walls, glued with wood glue, secured with weatherproof deck screws (all locations predrilled and countersunk by the CNC), with inset magnets to hold the stand facings. All joints will be sealed and smoothed and all faces will be finished will self-leveling primer prior to multiple layers of high gloss acrylic wet-sanded between coats and sealed with resin for a piano-gloss style finish. The magnets will hold facings on three sides of metal sheet with folded edges (to avoid cutting myself every time I open up the tank) finished in automotive-hued polyester powdercoat (I'm currently leaning towards Maserati Blu Sofisticato). To keep with the automotive theme I've also sourced a company that makes custom car badges to create three badges, one in Maserati script that reads "la scogliera", one that reads "MELEV Custom Series" and one that reads "designo di merrifield" in the same script used by Pininfarina on the Ferraris they design.THE TANKThe tank will be a custom Melev-built acrylic tank with a reef drop-off, CNC cut, with the back walls black acrylic and an external overflow with a BeanAnimal-style drain. Ironic that the stand, equipment, and design gets so much more description, but there's not too much you can really say about the tank, is there? lolTHE EQUIPMENTThe equipment list is going to be pretty long and extensive. Here are my thoughts so far (if anyone has any suggestion for other equipment, I'm always up for suggestions. I won't necessarily take them, but I'll at least consider them).LIGHTS - 2 x <del>AI 52HD</del>?EcoTech XR30w G4 Pros mounted on a custom bar over the tank, the one over the shallower portion oriented lengthwise in the tank, and the one for the deeper end oriented parallel to the front of the tank. ?The plan was originally to use AI Hydra 52HDs, but after having seen this page?http://www.aquaillumination.com/science/par.html, well, it changed my mind.SKIMMER - Nyos Quantum 160 Skimmer. For me the BIG seller is how quiet they are. I have insanely good hearing (Melev can attest to how I went nuts trying to figure out what was making noise in my tank before I discovered?it was the sound of the snails munching on algae.)RETURN PUMP- Vortech Vectra M1. What can I say, I love the fact you can control the return pump remotely and adjust the amount of flow besides just adding restriction to the return pipe. Melev has one on his frag tank and I love how quiet it is, too.SUMP- A custom Melev acrylic sump, of course, this one will be a bit of a hybrid between his Model E and Model F sumps.POWERHEADS - MP40QDW x 3. 2 on the upper portion and one on the lower portion to ensure the right amount of turbulent flow throughout the tank.CONTROLLER - Neptune Apex WiFi. Why skimp at this point? lolWell, I think that's enough information to start off with. Any questions so far?[EDIT] Oh, and on the stand the smaller silver circles are screw locations, larger dark circles are magnet locations.?View attachment 629
Wow that is going to be so nice, can't wait to see this one through. So what year do you think you will actually start? Will Marc be making any cuts this year or is this year just planing?
I'm so glad we aren't trying anything complicated initially. lol!
Posted by: melev?I'm so glad we aren't trying anything complicated initially. lol!? ? said:
I got some easy stuff for you to start on if you want Marc :p?That is good to hear it will be this year! Looks like we'll have the same skimmer :p
I really like mine, I get much darker skim from it and just seems like ?it works better than my old Bubble Magus. You just have to make sure it will fit, can remove the cup and be able to take it in and out for full deep cleaning.How much clearance will you have inside the cabinet top to bottom of sump and what will the opening size be on the side of the cabinet from top of sump to top of opening?Also?what is the water height of your skimmer section?View attachment 651View attachment 650
The attention to detail in the planning is incredible! ?Can't wait to see this one come to fruition.....hope it isn't the "slowest build thread on DFWMAS" ????
View attachment 711I was playing around with the design and decided I didn't care for a few elements of it, and that some dimensions were just arbitrary, so I did a clean sheet redesign to improve some elements of the tank as well as some of the interlocking tabs on the stand. So, well, here's design version 4.1 of the new dropoff tank. Questions, thoughts, suggestions?
Looking good!Do you have an idea for a spot this is going to be in in your house yet? I would actually put all the electronics/controllers, minus the batteries, in an external cabinet from the sump area. Either a stand next to the tank or, an on the wall shallow cabinet, like 6" deep or less. But I don't know what space you working with. I know I get frustrated with wiring when I don't have enough space to work :pWhat are the holes in the top of the tank on the overflow section? Is it for the return lines or cleaning access? Are the return lines coming out and then back into the tank??
Wow this is going to be quite nice. Ill be tagging along as well. With it dropping off like that will it make it harder to get rid of dead spots in the lower half ?Looks great?
Posted by: fjr_wertheimber?[ATTACH type="full said:
711,712,713,714,715[/ATTACH]I was playing around with the design and decided I didn't care for a few elements of it, and that some dimensions were just arbitrary, so I did a clean sheet redesign to improve some elements of the tank as well as some of the interlocking tabs on the stand. So, well, here's design version 4.1 of the new dropoff tank. Questions, thoughts, suggestions?? ?"]I see in picture one u have your power heads on the front glass. I once saw a tank long ago with the returns coming in down at the bottom of the tank. would putting them in the bottom of the back wall or on the bottom of the tank keep u from needing the phs in the front of the tank. I love how the ph's are cordless.I hope I'm not intruding here. Iv been off the site for a long time.?
Yeah, there's no room for an extra cabinet, and even then I like the self-contained nature of the design, it's one of the things I like about drop-off tanks (the extra space for stuff). Compared to a lot of the commo and computer/network equipment I've worked with over the years this is cavernous in terms of available space for wiring, so I'm not worried about that in the slightest. And yes, those holes are for the returns, although that's about to all change in version 4.5.
Nice :) can't wait to see how it progresses through the revisions :)I have been toying with the idea of an in-wall electrical cabinet for my next build...way in the future.Marc have his "minion" working yet?
Since this build is going to be so long and involved, after talking with Marc I decided to start a video series related to it. With that being said, please enjoy the first installment of Reef Overkill's 90 gallon Dropoff:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCVAek3ZZvQ