Article Ever-Evolving CORAL ONLY System.

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Jposch

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Playing with acrylic scares me. I built one tank and it didnt even last a year. I had all the pieces cut for me though and several months later one side just started to separate. GOOD thing I was around as the tank I made was plumbed into my other tanks at the time so if it had been a complete blowout I would have potentially lost everything.

Of course if I could find random free / cheap acrylic tanks I might change my mind.
How did you build it? Like which solvent, what brand acrylic, and how long did you leave it cure before filling? As far as I can find, I would be best to leave this tank dry for a week after the last joint is cemented.
Not my style to milk out a build, but oh well
 

Jposch

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Got the braces glued on the long ends.
20220921_134954.jpg

I mis-measured and destroyed the chances of a full eurobrace, so going to just put 4 individual strips on each side. Budget is about as much as I paid for the tank, so....🤷‍♂️
20220922_192735.jpg

Started on wet sanding and polishing the front panel while the resin cures on the top braces. Might get this done before the snow flies. I hope so. Otherwise, I'll have to clean out the garage. 😩
 

Jposch

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Mis measuring and destroying chances is my specialty, maybe I do need to work on another acrylic tank!
Well...this all could have been avoided if I spent the money to have the sheet waterjet cut. It's likely an older piece, so router probably would chew it up I was told. Circular saw did good, so idk. 🤷‍♂️
 

Jposch

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How do you always get these huge pieces of acrylic. You are the master of finding scraps and deals!!
If it's not free, it's probably not in my budget. Lol
20220926_170950.jpg
this tank was definitely a mess. I would bet if a true tank builder looked at it, they would have scraped it. I wetsanded down to 800 grit then to 1,000, and final 1,500 before buffing the front panel. I only went down to 1,000 on the other 3 sides before buffing. Still quite a bit of deep scratches of whatever the P.O. had in here. Time to fill it with water and pray. 😆 I'll polish this some more when I am done with it. But, I won't be using a 3" buffer again. Ha
Getting too cold to use the weld-on 40 outside, so I'll have to drag it in if it leaks, and pour a real thick bead on each seam. I got as much weld-on 16 into the joints as I could. None of the edges were sanded before original assembly, and the router cuts were quite wavy.
 

andrewkw

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I don't know what I'm talking about so full disclaimer there, but if you do have any leaks since this is not a show tank and you are not super concerned with a professional finish what about fusing strips of acrylic in all the corners to make sure you have a good seal? sorta like an armored acrylic seam?
 

Jposch

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I don't know what I'm talking about so full disclaimer there, but if you do have any leaks since this is not a show tank and you are not super concerned with a professional finish what about fusing strips of acrylic in all the corners to make sure you have a good seal? sorta like an armored acrylic seam?
That's what the weld-on 40 is for. It's a 2 part resin that is about as thick as honey or refrigerated maple syrup. Idk how it is up there, but maple syrup here is either fake or watered down. I think you get beheaded in Canada if you try to make fake syrup. 🤣
But, I can "tip and pour" another layer on the seams. You tip the tank so the two sides are at 45° to the ground and pour it in after sanding the acrylic for good adhesion.
 

andrewkw

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Ah. 16 is the only thick one I have experience with, as I already mentioned my only acrylic tank failed, but one day I'd like to try again. Of course if I could stumble across deals like you that day would be soon.

As for the syrup I believe they are the biggest maple syrup producer in the world, but there are a couple of real big ones near me plus lots of people like to make their own here. If you need some of the real stuff I'll send you some in the future.
 

Jposch

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From what I've read, the 16 is just 3/4 but it had some acrylic dissolved in it to make it thicker. The big problem with the 40 is air bubbles from mixing. I have a vacuum chamber to get rid of them, but I didn’t feel like dragging even more stuff out on the driveway that I had to bring back in everyday since it's been raining on&off.
 

Dierks

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If it's not free, it's probably not in my budget. Lol
View attachment 79846this tank was definitely a mess. I would bet if a true tank builder looked at it, they would have scraped it. I wetsanded down to 800 grit then to 1,000, and final 1,500 before buffing the front panel. I only went down to 1,000 on the other 3 sides before buffing. Still quite a bit of deep scratches of whatever the P.O. had in here. Time to fill it with water and pray. 😆 I'll polish this some more when I am done with it. But, I won't be using a 3" buffer again. Ha
Getting too cold to use the weld-on 40 outside, so I'll have to drag it in if it leaks, and pour a real thick bead on each seam. I got as much weld-on 16 into the joints as I could. None of the edges were sanded before original assembly, and the router cuts were quite wavy.
It turned out really nice! So much better than the troft
 

Jposch

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If it is just a frag tank... then scratches don't matter? You can just take top down shots 🤑
Pretty much. If/when I switch to fiberglass troughs, I'll do another buff job on this, drill it, and sell it. I have a stack of polycarbonate scraps I can build an overflow box from if I want. I'm just not feeling it. Lol
 

saf1

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Pretty much. If/when I switch to fiberglass troughs, I'll do another buff job on this, drill it, and sell it. I have a stack of polycarbonate scraps I can build an overflow box from if I want. I'm just not feeling it. Lol

Dr. Mac over at Pacific East has some old fiberglass troughs that he uses in his outdoor farm. He said one time a while back what their original use case was but I forget sadly. Seem to hold up well since he bought them used prior to his business starting in what, I think 2010?
 

Jposch

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Dr. Mac over at Pacific East has some old fiberglass troughs that he uses in his outdoor farm. He said one time a while back what their original use case was but I forget sadly. Seem to hold up well since he bought them used prior to his business starting in what, I think 2010?
Pantaire troughs are reasonable. Worst case, IBC totes are cheap used and 48×48" isn't too bad. Can't really silicone an overflow box onto HDPE though.
 

Jposch

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Looks great! Nice work. I love free! Some of my earliest reef tanks were free! because they needed some work :)
Nowadays, if it's not free, it's not in the budget. Lol
I should have enough equipment laying around to run this tank with heat lights and flow enough for softies.
 
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