Grant's 50g Rimless


Premium Member
I'm finally getting close to actually having water in this thing, so I thought I'd finally put up some pictures of the progress so far. The aquarium is 38"x18"x18" and made from low iron glass. It's rimless on the top but does have black plastic trim on the bottom. It'll be recessed slightly into the stand (the pictures explain it better than I can) to hide the trim and hopefully the lower part of the sand that seems to look dirty after a while. The overflow was purchased from Modular Marine and uses three 1" drain lines for a Bean Animal setup. There are two 1/2" return lines also drilled into the back wall.

The stand framework:
[attachment=2]Stand 1.jpg[/attachment]

Inner side pieces added, and the first (of many) coats of Kilz:
[attachment=1]Stand 2.jpg[/attachment]

Front and sides added:
[attachment=0]Stand 3.jpg[/attachment]
The front comes off as one piece (this will look better once I have all the black iron trim work on it):
[attachment=2]Stand 4.jpg[/attachment]

With the actually aquarium sitting on it and the rest of the top on finally!
[attachment=1]Stand 5.jpg[/attachment]

Here's a shot showing how the tank is recessed into the stand. I'm planning on using some clear silicone to fill in the gap between the boards and the glass once it's been stained.
[attachment=0]Stand 6.jpg[/attachment]
One more slightly closer view from the front:
[attachment=1]Stand 7.jpg[/attachment]

And the back. The back will be up against a wall and won't be "finished" like the rest. I'm planning to paint the back of the aquarium black to hide the overflow box and the returns.
[attachment=0]Stand 8.jpg[/attachment]

Please ignore the messy garage. I'm also redoing a lot of my house and everything is a mess. The plus to that is that since I made the built in bookshelves and mantle in my living room I can easily make sure the aquarium stand matches them. [smilie=smile.gif]
The stand is finished and in the house with the tank on it. I picked up some rock last night from a member here and stayed up later than I should have working on the layout to get it just where I wanted it. Before it gets water in it I'll need to get either some acrylic rod or some two-part epoxy to use to make sure it can't fall over, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. I'm still waiting on the Tropic Eden Reef Flakes sand to be back in stock, but Premium Aquatics told me that should be soon. In the meantime I've been building my sump and an Avast Marine media reactor kit for carbon (or GFO).

The first picture was taken before the rock or the black metal trim on the stand, but was a better picture since it was during the day. The other two were taken last night. On the first one you can also see the white primed 2x4s underneath the stand that are actually supporting the weight. I didn't realize they'd be visible until I got it in the house and looked at it from a little further away. I have some small wood pieces cut to hide them, I just need to stain them still.

[attachment=2]tank 1.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=1]tank 2.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=0]tank 3.jpg[/attachment]
The sump is done. While trying to figure out the best fit for an acrylic sump I discovered that the measurements were almost exactly the same as a 20L aquarium. The next day I was at Petco and they were having their $1/gallon sale so I picked one up. The baffles are acrylic, from Lowe's. I had most of it already from other projects so decided to go with that instead of glass. That way I could also route the teeth in the refugium baffle myself. The silicone work looks like I had my 5 year old nephew do it but (other than posting a picture here on the internet for all eternity [smilie=smile.gif] ) no one should see it inside the stand.


I also finished putting together the Avast Marine media reactor. I'll probably just run carbon in it at first, and then switch to GFO if needed.

@Jochoa wrote:
Looking really nice! Your stand is awesome! said:
Thanks. There was a bit of trial and error involved but luckily I wasn't in a big hurry since I was waiting for the tank to be built at the same time.
Updates: Premium Aquatics has the Tropic Eden Reefflakes sand in stock again so I placed the order for that this morning. The plumbing is all setup and the tank is filled with RODI water. Unfortunately I discovered a small leak where the full syphon drain line connects to the shut off valve so I've turned off the pumps until I get that fixed. I'm hoping the sand will be here by this weekend and I can add that, some salt, and start the cycle process.
And we have sand and water... although I need to spread the sand out and even it up so it's not burying the rock work like that. And wish I had noticed the algae scraper sitting on top of the overflow box before I took the picture so that I could have moved it.

After clearing up a few small leaks and raising the water level in the overflow box to keep the noise down as much as possible, I started topping it off with salt water instead of RODI. I'm planning to add the rest of the salt today and get the cycle started while I build the hangers for the lights. I have a Kessil A160WE I'm using over my nano tank and plan to buy another one just like it. The two combined should be plenty of light, each covering an area around 18x18 as long as I get them centered. While you can connect the Kessils together and control both with one cable, I'm planning to have each light controlled separately. That I can adjust each one for whatever the coral needs are underneath it.

I also finished the screen cover to make sure that the fish stay in the water where they should be. I lost my very first fish (a black clown) that way and decided to make sure that doesn't ever happen again. The frame on the screen also sits almost directly on top of the internal part of the overflow so it should hopefully keep any thing from trying to escape that way, too.

Added a Maxspect Gyre XF130 today and got the salinity up to where it should be, so I'm ready to start the cycling process while I build the hangers for the lights. Adding another picture although there's nothing much different to see (including the Gyre which is mounted vertically near the left side return and blended in almost perfectly with the background). I still need to clean up all the wires on the left side of the tank.

I replaced the 1/2" clear tubing I had used for the return lines with 3/4" flexible PVC. This matches the outlets on the pumps and the PVC connecting to the bulkheads. There's so much more flow now I had to turn off the second return pump until I can get the tee fittings to redirect some of the flow to the reactor and, eventually, the external refugium.

Old lines:

New lines:

Also, my wife wanted to make sure I had a rug in front of the tank to keep water drops off the floor when I'm "messing around with the aquarium" and she found one online that she couldn't pass up. The angle of the picture makes it look a lot taller than it actually is. It's about 48"W x 30"H.

Looking good Grant. Good call adding the spa flex tubing, it's pricey, but really good stuff. Congrats on the new build.
So I've been looking for something to hang my lights from for a while now and couldn't find anything that looked right and, more importantly, was the right length to center the lights over the tank. Since the tank was already filled with water and cycling, moving it an inch one way or the other wasn't an option. Eventually I gave up and decided to make my own. I used 1" square steel, which let me hide all the wires. They run into the room behind the wall (the garage) and then back into the stand about 6" above the floor.




The second one is still under construction. I wanted to finish one to make sure everything worked out as planned first. The small "box" right behind the Kessil is one of the Apex Lunar Simulator LEDs. Since the Kessil will only dim to about 10% before it shuts off I wanted to have another option for moonlights. It turns out the Apex LSM lights are 1" square so it fit perfectly.
Yesterday I came home from work to some rocks covered in diatoms. I didn't really expect that yet since I didn't ever really see any ammonia spike and nitrates are still showing 0. One of the live rocks I put in from my nano tank had a few tiny feather duster worms on it and they seem to be doing fine still, also. The tank was setup with mostly dry rock and just a few small pieces of live rock, but has had a few deli shrimp and an almost daily addition of flake food, all of which is gone. I can only assume that either the cycle was so mild that it never read high enough on the API test kits for me to notice, or that it all happened during that one week I was out of town. [smilie=thinking.gif]

Tomorrow morning I may add a few brave snails to boldly go where no snail has gone before (the new tank, that is) and then as long as they're still doing ok I'll order the rest of the clean up crew on Wednesday.
@texasswangin214 wrote:
Is the screen sitting on a lip or how is it flush I like the way it looks said:
Thanks! There's a small black lip on the short ends of the tank that the screen sits on. They're the exact depth to keep the screen perfectly flush with the top edge of the glass. The screen frame was made with parts from HD/Lowes. The actual white mesh for it came from BRS I think.
First addition to the tank (other than snails). Unfortunately they didn't want to be photographed near of part of the tank that didn't have diatoms on the sand still.

I just realized how long it's been since I updated this. I'd post a picture of the tank but it's actually a little embarrassing right now because I'm fighting off a cyano outbreak. I'm hoping it's just still "new tank" syndrome but regardless I've bought a reactor for GFO to see if that helps.

I've pretty much finished all of the automation and Apex programming, though, so here's a screen shot of that. I'm using a Waveline 2500 controllable DC pump for my return but the plan involves a pair of them and I haven't ordered the second one yet (which would be "PUMP_L" and is why "PUMP_R" is running at 100%). I'm also waiting for Apex to release their FMM (Fluid Monitoring Module) sometime this year, which should be the final part I need for full redundancy in all the critical parts.

[attachment=0]Apex Screen.jpg[/attachment]

A few things that might need explanation:

There's an outlet labelled "Pumps". This is a virtual outlet that's on if either PUMP_L or PUMP_R are on. If that outlet is off, then the the heaters and skimmer also shut off. As long as one of the two pumps in running, then both of those should stay on.

The "Heater_Timer" outlet: I have two heaters in the tank and each one would be enough to heat the tank on it's own. It takes about 30 minutes for the pair of them to heat the tank from 78.5 to 79. When the heaters come on, so does the timer. If it stays on for more than 45 minutes then it's taking longer than it should and, presumably, either my house is much colder than it should be or one of the heaters has failed. If this happens then it sends an email alert.

The "ATO_Timer" outlet is basically the same thing. From the time the float switch activates the ATO pump it takes about 5 minutes to fill the sump back up to the point the switch cuts its off. If the ATO pump runs for 10 minutes then the ATO_Timer switch comes on, which shuts off the pump and activates an email alert. This tells me that either the top off container is empty or something is really wrong and it needs to stop adding RODI water to the tank.

The two "AWC" outlets are the automatic water change handled by the Apex DOS. It changes about 1 gallon each night, Monday through Friday, for about a 10% total water change each week.

"SKM_SW" is the float switch for the contained that the skimmer cup drains into. If that switch goes "Open" then the skimmer shuts off.

All of the "Mix" labelled stuff is from the salt water mixing station in the garage behind the tank.

Reactor pump is for the two media reactors (carbon and GFO) that I'm still setting up, so that's just turned off until I get it finished.

If you have any questions, or see anything that I've done wrong, please let me know. My wife might be right in that I've gone a little overboard with the automation. [smilie=itwasntme.gif]

I'll try to get an actual picture of more interesting things, like the actual tank, sometime next week.