DIY - Projects & Ideas • Acrylic tank busted. Time to build a new River Tank.

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Postby chefkeith » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:39 am

Brad, I don't think I tried them. I'm planning on building a couple of plywood jigs. I have plenty of plywood, so it won't cost me anything.

For the jigs I want, the acrylic would be clamped to the jig so that the the sheet would be suspended in mid air perpendicular to the other piece of acrylic. This way I can use fewer pins or no pins at all. I wasn't good at the pins method the last time I tried it.
Here's a drawing of what I'm talking about-
Image
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Postby MSUDawgs56 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:11 pm

Looking good and I was pretty sure you had the sump where you could remove it...just wanted to suggest!!

Please keep the pictures coming!!!
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Postby chefkeith » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:39 am

I'm integrating some spray bars into the island, kind of like under gravel jets. These are the same spray bars and powerheads I used for the old river tank. The powerheads are Aquaclear 802's (now model #70) with quick-filter attachments. They are rated for 400 gph and use 20 watts each.
I set-up the spray bars and piping so that I'll be able to clean them out with a long pipe brush (a brush is sticking out of the 3rd spraybar in the picture). One pump will be set on the far left and the other will be inside the cove of the island. I'll probably hack off a few inches from the top of each spray bar. I definately don't need to do that now though.
When I start carving out the island, I might make a small pool with a waterfall on top of the island, that is feed from one of the spraybars.

Image
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Postby chefkeith » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:09 pm

I'm getting very close to pouring my concrete bottom for the island. I just need to goto Home Depot and get more Perlite.

Here's a pic of where the concrete is going-
Image

My next posts will have details of the concrete mix I'm using.
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Postby chefkeith » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:20 pm

Home Depot was closed :( so I went to Walmart instead :) . They had Schultz"s Perlite at Walmart. It turns out that this brand is less dense per volume than the Scott"s Perlite, which is at Home Depot. This is a good thing, but I'll have to recalculate all my mixing ratio's now.
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Postby fabulousfat5 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:27 pm

Well it stinks to have to recalculate, but I'm sure it will be worth it.
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Postby chefkeith » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:07 am

The light weight concrete mix I used (by volume)-

1 part portland cement type I
1 part quickwall surface bonding cement
4 parts Perlite
1.66 parts RO water

Here's the cements. The quickwall is the white stuff underneath. I used it because it has lots of glass fibers in it-
Image

This is what Perlite looks like. It is used mostly for soil aeration in gardening. It costs about $3 per 1.5# bag at Walmart.
Image

I made 2 large batches of this concrete in the cat box. Mixing got kind of messy. It's best to add all the water to the cement and mix that together. It should be watery. Then mix in the Perlite last. The Perlite will soak up all the water.
Image

Poured that. It's about 1" thick.
Image

I then layed down the big cave / Pvc pipe-
Image

I also made 3 small batches of concrete to fill in the gaps and build up areas around the PVC pipe.
It's so much easier to mix small batches. I used less Perlite and water for this also.
I'll be lightly spraying the concrete with RO water as it cures.
Image

Well, I made about 51 pounds of concrete. All the piping and eggcrate weighted about 22 pounds. Total weight so far about 73#'s.

Adding the styrofoam is next. Which I think should probably be the funnest part.
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Postby mr.dark-saint » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:16 am

Mixing cement in a litter box :lol: . You should've just used the clumping litter :lol: . I would've just sacrificed a bucket (they're only like two bucks) or do you no longer have cats? It'll be funny if you took the litter box to the seller and say "hey the litter you sold me for my cats won't come off the box" :lol: .

All joking aside. Was the Egg Crate nessasary? After curing the cement would've been plenty, no? Then again with the added weight of the cement may snap the Egg Crate and the PVC on it's own. I would've also rigged the Water Jets PVC to the Sewer Pipes instead of just laying one on top of the other. I suppose if you ever need to do any moving I'd recomend having at least three pairs of hands to move the island (since there really isn't any rebars to keep it stiff).

Also why didn't you just use one Mag-Drive 3 instead of having a pair of 802?

All in all it's coming along :thumb: .
It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything.

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e158/ ... 13/125.jpg
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Postby BinaryWhisper » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:45 am

I have no idea what you are doing but it's looking pretty cool. :)

Good tip on the lightweight concrete. It's a common method that I've read about dozens of times when looking at construction techniques and yet I never thought of using in aquariums.
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Replicating Nature in Fur & Stone
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Postby chefkeith » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:08 pm

mr.dark-saint wrote:All joking aside. Was the Egg Crate nessasary? After curing the cement would've been plenty, no? Then again with the added weight of the cement may snap the Egg Crate and the PVC on it's own. I would've also rigged the Water Jets PVC to the Sewer Pipes instead of just laying one on top of the other. I suppose if you ever need to do any moving I'd recomend having at least three pairs of hands to move the island (since there really isn't any rebars to keep it stiff).

Also why didn't you just use one Mag-Drive 3 instead of having a pair of 802?



The eggcrate wasn't necessary, but I think it might help prevent cracking.

I'm not sure about the powerhead question. I bought them about 4 years ago and don't have a mag drive 3.

The way I have the powerheads set-up, it will create some water flow inside the big cave and the cove. I was just going to use 1 pump, but since I was adding a clean-out to the piping on the bottom, I thought I'd make an option for a 2nd pump. My main concern was being able to clean the pipes.
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Postby davidhusker » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:07 pm

what is this concrete layer for? is it only to hold everything in place and hold it down?

Its looking good... but i dont know what im looking at right now.
Whats the island going to be made of? Is something going to cover the PVC pipe...
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Postby chefkeith » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:17 am

mr.dark-saint-
I was able to lift the slab of concrete and turn it on it's side without it breaking. IMO, without the eggcrate tying the concrete together, it would of cracked. And the way I cemented in the piping was a great idea because the pipe is a good place to lift it.
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Postby chefkeith » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:23 am

davidhusker wrote:what is this concrete layer for? is it only to hold everything in place and hold it down?

Its looking good... but i dont know what im looking at right now.
Whats the island going to be made of? Is something going to cover the PVC pipe...


Yep, you answered your own question. Thanks.
I done some step by step drawings earlier in the thread on how I was building this. I'll be skipping a few steps though so that the island is lighter.

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... &&start=15

The rest of the island will be built much like a styrofoam/cement background. After I add all the foam and cement, you won't see any pipes.
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Postby chefkeith » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:44 am

This is the 1st mock up with the foam sheets. I've got a ton more foam to add, and I've got 4 cans of Great Stuff Foam that I'll use to glue everything into place and to add some mass. I still need to cut down the spraybars too.
Image

Image
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Postby chefkeith » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:26 pm

After reviewing Lomax's thread on how he did his background, I went and picked-up a black & decker, 3 speed rotary tool. I tested it out and think carving out the island contour will be much easier and prettier now. This is a really nice tool for this kind of work and it's alot quieter than I thought it would be. It cost only $26 at Walmart. I bought a cutting bit and grinding stone bit also.

Thankyou Lomax for the great tips in that thread.
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