Habitat - Indoor :: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:00 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

theartbook35 wrote:
You are quite welcome. Valspar is pretty popular from what I have heard. Do you have a finisher you can put over the paint (assuming you will always keep this the black color)? I worry about the water getting through the paint, and Valspar is very poisonous, like almost everything these days.



So the bottom of the stand is finished in flat black by Aqueon. On some scrap wood, I tried flat black with flat spray poly as a top coat and it made a glossy mess. I ended up spraying a satin enamel over primer on a piece of scrap and that looked very close to the base but gave just a very little sheen which should help with water.. so that's what I ended up putting on the hood. If this were a stained piece I'd be much more worried about a top coat. I am a paint novice... if you have any suggestions as to a paint top coat I'm all ears. The last hood I built was also black enamel, but it was rustoleum and painted on via brush with no top coat. That has held up well for the last year or so.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:22 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Here's the action shot of the ramp being attached to the tile. You can see the JB weld that I used. JB weld is safe to use in aquariums once its fully cured. It's commonly used in reef setups for various things. I too used JB weld to build a protein skimmer stand that lives in the sump of my reef setup.

You can see the torch I used, and how I clamped the ramp to the tile as the epoxy cures. I used a sharpie to mark the tile where I was going to set the ramp.

rampclamp1.jpg

rampclamp2.jpg
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:43 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

So while the JB weld is curing, I decided to try and tackle my light dilemma mentioned earlier in this thread. I think I figured out a way to mount my light stand to the hood.

The bottom part of the light stand has a foot that is welded to a square tube. The square tube has a hole for a set screw to hold the upper sections of the light stand. I am going to take either the sawzall or the angle grinder and hack off the square tube from the foot of the stand. I can then epoxy the square tube to the back of my hood and use it with the set screw to hold the light stand.

Here's the base of the light stand and the attached tube. Not the best picture.

lightstand.jpg
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:57 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

That was easier than I thought to cut. I thought I'd start by scoring the metal with the hacksaw to give myself a groove for the blade of the sawzall to follow. I lined up the hacksaw and pulled it towards me slowly a few times and realized I was 1/3rd of the way done with the cut so I ended up just using the hacksaw to cut this piece off.

This piece will get epoxied to the rear of the hood to hold the light stand. I use a MVB with Moe so I only have one light to deal with.


cutoff.jpg
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:33 am   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Ok so I just learned something important. JB Weld does NOT adhere to plastics. :oops: That being said, the acrylic ramp that I'm trying to JB weld to the basking platform is not working. I need to find another adhesive. :roll:

However, the JB weld (I actually used JB KWIK) worked like a charm to hold the metal lighting bracket to the wooden hood.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:35 am   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Hmm JB weld should stick. I use it to repair motorcycle fairing which are ABS not acrylic though and it works wonders. Did you scuff up the acrylic first to give it something to stick to a little better?
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:32 am   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

shortt > maybe that was the problem. I definitely didn't scuff the acrylic. However if you google JB weld and acrylic there seems to be plenty of others with similar issues. Heh...Maybe we all forgot to scuff?

I did end up using some epoxy putty. I had 3/4 of a tube of the Two Little Fishies Aquastick. It's supposed to be good at holding gluing corals under water, which I've had 0 luck with.

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5163+10124+10454&pcatid=10454

It says that it will bond to acrylic and to ceramic... and it does. I mashed up the putty for about a minute, divided it into a few blobs on the bottom of the tile, and clamped the ramp in place overnight. It's well secured now. :wink: The aqua stick putty says it takes 24 hours to fully cure.

I'll post some pictures of the ramp later today.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:41 am   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Here's the ramp...

ramp1.jpg

ramp2.jpg


With the hood on and the bracket for the light stand epoxied to the back of the hood....

lighthood.jpg



Hrmmm... guess I have to find a new spot in my office to hang those pictures. All though I'm sure any Red Sox fans on this forum A. hate this thread and B. think those pictures should just be lowered a bit. :lol:
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:47 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Feel free to post the ones you want to give away or sell. The crib looks great, there is no shortage of turtle related items out there :)

The Two Little Fishies Aquastick did not work well for me when I used it for some ceramic tiles. It was only used to hold a small piece of tile in place but loosened easily... and the smell never went away either.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:17 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

steve wrote:Feel free to post the ones you want to give away or sell. The crib looks great, there is no shortage of turtle related items out there :)

The Two Little Fishies Aquastick did not work well for me when I used it for some ceramic tiles. It was only used to hold a small piece of tile in place but loosened easily... and the smell never went away either.


Thanks. everything I'd get rid of will be given away. Where should I post? The deals section?

Yeah that aquastick seems to be hit or miss. I've lost 4 pieces of coral in my reef tank because of it. They stayed in place for a little while, but the aquastick was no match for a pincushion urchin that decided the corals were cramping her style. So I have 4 pieces of coral somewhere under a rock in the bottom of my tank. Hopefully they will attach to something and grow.

How much does a large adult female RES weigh? I still don't know if my turtle is male or female, but Moe seems to be on the small side (hoping for a male and hoping this 75G tank will be large enough for adult Moe). I ask about the weight for the ramp. I put some pressure on that ramp to see if it would snap free from the tile and it did not budge. Guess I got lucky and the aquastick held for me...at least so far.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:23 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

This is 50 lbs of sand. Does it look okay or should I add more?

sand.jpg
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:37 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

You can post in the links & deals section or people talk. People talk is only visible to forum members logged-in.

I haven't weighed my female RES, though I still think she has a bit more growing to do. I'll try to later.

Looks like there is good coverage with the sand, I guess you have to wait and see after everything's done. As for the ramp, I would be tempted to drill a couple of holes into the tile.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:27 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

steve wrote:You can post in the links & deals section or people talk. People talk is only visible to forum members logged-in.

I haven't weighed my female RES, though I still think she has a bit more growing to do. I'll try to later.

Looks like there is good coverage with the sand, I guess you have to wait and see after everything's done. As for the ramp, I would be tempted to drill a couple of holes into the tile.



Funny you mention drilling holes into the tile. That was my first idea. I have a drill press and the diamond tipped drill bits to do it, but I thought the epoxy would be easier. The ramp Moe currently has is shaped like a giant sideways T. The bottom part (vertical section when looking at a typed letter) of the T is bent down and has holes like the current ramp. The top part of the T (horizontal part of the typed letter) is wide enough to just fit within the rim of the tank. His current basking platform is a slate tile and it sits on top of the horizontal flat part of the T. The weight of the tile holds the ramp. This worked well for him as a juvenile. As Moe grows into adulthood, I needed to secure the ramp to the platform to support his future weight.

Guess I'll see how the epoxy putty holds up. It's SUPPOSED to have a tensile strength of just over 700 lbs. Worst case I get a new $3 tile and drill/bend another piece of acrylic. Because the platform and ramp just sit on the lip of the tank rim, they are easily removable for cleaning or replacement. I could also try your cork bark ramp suggestion up to the tile.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:09 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

Maybe use 2 tiles to sandwich the ramp? You can use silicone to keep the tiles together and you can still slide the ramp in and out.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:26 pm   Re: Moe's new 75G home - build thread.

If it comes to that I think I'll go the route of the corkbark or get some industrial grade epoxy for the ramp. I have a feeling the epoxy putty is going to hold up.

I'm currently setting up the FX5 filter. Holy cow does this thing quickly gobble up media. One regular sized box (500g) of Fluval biomax only fills one of the three trays half way up. If I want to use all biomax media in the FX5, I'd need 6 boxes. EEK.
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