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150 Gallon Cuttle Farm Army tank build!

Delosa - my plywood and foam Reef - Reef Central Online Community is one of the plywood tanks I was looking at when I was researching using foam to make rocks. His whole tank is covered with that foam! I made a couple shelf pieces but had to abandon that project after I realised how incredibly bouyant the foam was. I thought Piling rocks on top would be enough to hold it down, but it was even close. Ill post pics of that failed project soon =)

Dwhatley- I used basic minwax red oak. Ive found that if you cant find and exact color that is pre made, you can easily mix combinations. Ive made a dark and nice red coffee table by mixing. I cant recall what i used, but it was a combination of different brands. You can get a deep stain by just staining it multiple times. Ive tried the non-wipe method before and it was hard to keep dust from settling on it. Maybe my place is just to dirty to do that heh. never used hair dye as a stain, but i did just accidentally get stain on my hair the other day =) Thats what happens when you wipe the sweat off your forehead with your hand while still holding onto the brush.
We would definitely make a messy team :wink2:. I have mixed my stains so much I no longer know what was originally in the can and when I get something I like, I am never sure what I ultimately used. Don't bother with the hair dye though, it soaks in after about a week and fades and is an expensive experiment. It did seem to darken the wood (cedar) enough to eventually allow the bed to come out as I wanted but it took me over a month to be satisfied enough to urathane it.

Red stain in my hair would not show much but once my boss thought my attempt at coloring my grey failed until she realized it was the paint from my weekend wall painting project - true story.
My problem is more with impatience. Im always eager to see the results, so I rush processes like staining. My final product would probably be much better if I waited more =) Funny story about your hair =)

If anyone is interested, Here are some pics of things that did not work.

-foam rock shelf (Made from the Great Stuff sealant)



I ended up redoing it with a whitish grey foam instead of the yellowish here.
The end product actually looked good. I never got a pic before I threw it away. The thing was incredibly bouyant. Too much to just pile rocks on. If you were to do this, I would recommend having it siliconed to the tank when its empty or som ehow integrate a large rock or brick in the piece to weigh it down.

-From researching possibilities to have the least amount of pumps used for flow, I read about eductors. They are just pieces that you add to an output of flow that is designed to suck more water from the area around it and can double even triple the flow rate depending on the stats of the pump. I originally got this to add on the wavy sea, to see if it would create enough flow for the whole tank.


The problem with this is not that it didnt work.. It worked way to well, blowing everything in its path and creating actual waves in the tank to flow back and forth. This caused water to flush back and forth on my two overflows causing a loud flushing noise. If anyone wants to add more flow and not add more pumps, these things are incredible. Just not for what I planned.

Heres a list of things I need to make
-Create acrylic cuttle baby and food area, to sit and be plumbed in the stand of the tank.
-Control Center that will give me one neat place to control all the devices and monitors for the tank.
-Make a Kalk Reactor to add to my top off. (This is more for the corals in the tank and probably isn't even necessary for that, but Ill get good Coraline growth)
where did that eductor come from?

I'm very interested in increasing flow in tanks without grinding up critters in pumps (after adding a 780 gph pump in a closed loop to my 24 gallon I went from a huge pod population to almost none)
In the aquarium world, they renamed eductors to Penductor. Probably so they can sell something thats normally 5 bucks for 25. You know how it goes..

I purchased mine at http://www.dtpetsupplies.com/catalog/Plumbing-Fittings/Outflow-Assemblies/Penductors/

Actually Ive purchased many things from this store recently for they seem to be the cheapest with good Service as well if you have problems.

These things really do work, so be careful or you'll have too much flow. There are a couple do it yourself plans out for them as well. For 5-10 bucks in pieces. I hear they work but aren't as good as the ones I linked earlier. But that might be a good thing if you want a small increase.

im very surprised these things arent used more often in aquariums. Especially in the reefing world.
Made a little progress on the tank.

Snail Guarded the overflows and built the cuttle nursery.



Use some scrap acrylic and Gutter guard material found at OSH. The overflow is now snail and cuttle proof, but probably not octo proof unless I double up the material. I didn't want to use too fine of a mesh on the overflow, since it would require cleaning often.


Made the nursery of 1/4 inch acrylic. It has a sliding divider that can be taken in and out. Also, for newborns, I made a small breeder net like cage using 1/8" acrylic and window screen material. Window screen material was also used with the overflow, and on the holes of the divider allowing water flow. Water input is from a T'ed off and ball valve connection to the return of the main tank. The water output exits a small overflow that drains into the wet dry area of the sump.

All parameters are good. I am housing a few coral frags and they are doing well. They give me something to look at until It comes time to get some cuttles.

Next, I will be wiring up 4 120mm computer fans for cooling and circulation in the hood.

Id like to get this thing all done, but my pace seems to be limited now more by $$ then time :sad:
Been too lazy to update this post, but Ive finished building the other components for this setup including Auto Top off, doser, and a control panel. Ive also finished a lot of the rockwork in which I scrapped the idea of the agrocrete shelf rocks and just made a lot of structures by glueing live rock together.

Heres my 20 gallon top off reservoir and old laboratory dosing pump. I made it look a lot more complicated then it is.



And here is my control panel.


Ive semi updated mywebsite and details of this tank can be found at

Also, Ive decided to just go the Bandensis Route instead of Officianalis, since they are more readily available. Ive also recently added more liverock in the center of the tank which is more cavernouse. I can see this to be where many cuttles will take up residence and will be dubbed the cuttle condos. =)
Heres a little update on my setup.

I plumbed in a Food section. Im using a gravity fed design. A rodi sized tube has been added to my overflow that siphones water into this chamber. I have drilled the bottom of this tank and put a standpipe in it covered with a window mesh. This then drains through a 3/4" tube to the sump.

I currently am raising a batch of 7 Bandensis which are almost a month old at the moment. Ill create a different post for these guys =)

During the first 4 weeks, I housed 200 mysids easily in this chamber. I just moved to purchasing shore shrimp and it is now holding 250 larger shrimps. Its very crowded in there, but they are all alive and eating.


Here are recent pics of my aquascaping.




Im growing higher light corals on top of the tank. The tank is 30 " tall, so the light does get change in intenisty a great deal as it goes down the tank. The shelf structures of the rock creates a variety of shading.
The Bandensis are still in the baby chamber. Im still experimenting with the light cycle and probably will continue until I place the cuttles in and see how they react. Right now the halides are on 5 hours and T5s are lighting the rest of the time. In nature , Bandensis are found over coral reefs and coastal shallow waters. I will attempt to replicate this environment to some degree. Ive recently added my second vortech pump and both are being wirelessly controlled on a reef crest mode.
How about a full tank shot? Looking Great! As always, the addition is perfect for your motif! If I were into Goth I would be sooo jealous but my simple oriental doesn't need the degree of creativity (love seeing it though). What is the decorative structure that looks like metal made of (resin?), How much water does it hold and did you make the "tank" part for it yourself of find something that was water tight? I am looking for creative ideas for a fuge that will be fully visible for the "next year" tank and the housing intrigues me. Thanks (and start that Bandensis journal ... Please!)
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